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Mr. Grattan's marriage with Miss Fitzgerald — Her family — Wonderful 
age of Catherine Fitzgerald, Countess of Desmond — Mrs. Grattan's 
character — They settle at Tinnehinch — Description of the Dargle — 
Letters of Mr. Daly, Levinge, and Lord Annaly, on the conduct of 
Lord Mansfield — Address of the Independent DublinVolunteers to Mr. 
Grattan on the Act of the Renunciation — His spirited and constitu- 
tional reply — Rupture between him and the volunteers — Loss of 
popularity — Irish case in the English courts decided by Lord Mans- 
field — His character .... Page 1 


Public sentiment in Ireland — Lord Mornington, afterwards Marquess 
Wellesley — Acquaintance with Mr. Grattan — His character — His 
letter to Mr. Grattan on the English ministry, and on Lord Mans 
field's conduct Mr. Flood and Lord Shelburne — Mr. Fitzpatrick's 
letter to Mr. Ogle respecting the judicial supremacy of Ireland — The 
conduct of the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fox — Character of Mr. 
Ogle — His poetry — Mr. Stewart's letter to Mr. Grattan, respecting 
Lord Mansfield — Report of the debate on the Renunciation Bill in 
the English House of Commons, taken by Lord Mornington — His 
letter to Mr. Grattan — Note as to Lord Bellamont — Mr. Fitzpatrick to 



Mr. Grattan respecting the repeal of the 6th George L, and Mr. Flood 
and Lord Beauchamp's conduct — State of parties in Ireland — Efforts 
to render the Volunteers discontented — Violence of the press 

Page 28 


Lord Temple's short administration in Ireland — Succeeded by Lord 
Northing-ton — Change of Ministry in 1783 — List of — New Parliament 
assembled in Ireland — Mr. Grattan and Mr. Flood returned for 
boroughs — The King's answer to the address — New opposition com- 
menced in Parliament — Question of retrenchment — Lord Charlemont 
and Mr. Grattan differ in opinion thereon — Remarks on the policy of 
Ireland with reference to England — Dispute between Mr. Flood and 
Mr. George Ponsonby — Mr. Flood's attack upon the Whigs — His con- 
nexion with the Duke of Chandos — Conduct of the Whigs and Tories 
— Dispute between Mr. Daly and Mr. Flood — His advice to the 
Volunteers, and reply to Mr. Flood — Causes which led to the dispute 
between Mr. Flood and Mr. Grattan — Their speeches — Letter to Mr. 
Day — Hostile meeting — Second attack by Mr. Flood — Message from 
Mr. Grattan, and correspondence between Mr. Cuffe and Mr. Mont- 
gomery on the subject — General Burgoyne's letter to Mr. Fox, with 
respect to the dispute, and to the meeting of the Convention 

Page 67 


The National Convention for Reform — Mr. Fox's letter to the Lord 
Lieutenant respecting it — His remarks on the Renunciation Bill 
— The settlement of 1782 — The volunteers — The business of Por- 
tugal, and the concessions to Ireland — His opinion on advancing 
Mr. Scott and Mr. Fitzgibbon to office — His letter to General Bur- 
goyne on Irish affairs, on the conduct of the Volunteer Convention 
and the dangers arising therefrom — General Burgoyne's letter to Mr. 
Fox — Meeting of the Delegates on the 10th November, 1783 — Lord 
Charlemont elected chairman — Seeds of discontent attempted to be 
sown by a pretended message from the Roman Catholics— Sir Patrick 
Bellew and the Roman Catholics disown it — Their resolutions — Lord 
Kenmare and Sir Boyle Roche's letters on the subject — Conduct of 
Mr. Flood— Lords Charlemont, Aldborough, and others, offer to give 



up their boroughs — Mr. Flood's speech in the Convention — Letter 
of General Burgoyne to Mr. Fox respecting the Convention, and 
application of the Catholics — Lord Lieutenant's (Northington) letter 
to Mr. Fox respecting Mr. Flood — The affairs of Ireland, and Mr. 
Fitzgibbon's promotion . . . Page 102 


Interview between Lord Bristol, Bishop of Derry, and Lord Charlemont — 
Singular remarks of the former — Dinner to the Bishop at George Ro- 
bert Fitzgerald's — Attack meditated on Mr. Grattan — Intended arrest 
of the Bishop by the Privy Council — Remarks on the Debates in the 
Convention, and proceedings of the Volunteers — Their resolutions 
and plan of parliamentary reform — Mr. Flood proceeds from the 
Convention to the House — Moves to bring in a Bill of Reform — 
Violent opposition — Mr. Daly's reply to Mr. Flood — Bill rejected — 
Resolutions of the House of Commons thereon — List of division — 
Lord Lieutenant's letter to Mr. Fox respecting the debate in the 
Commons — Mr. Flood and Mr. Luttrell — Termination of the Con- 
vention — Address to the King — Sir Jonah Barrington's error in his 
history respecting Lord Charlemont — Remarks on the Volunteers — 
Mr. Flood's departure to England with the address — Takes his seat 
in the English House of Commons — Speeches on Mr. Fox's East 
India Bill — How received by the English — Attacked by General 
Luttrell — Anecdote — General Luttrell — his character — Mr. Grattan's 
remarks on Mr. Flood . . . Page 135 


The Lord-lieutenant refuses increase of salary — Letter to Lord North 
upon the subject — Lord Temple's letter to Lord Northington conveying 
the King's desire — Speaker's (Pery) speech at the end of the session — 
Lord Northington's letter to Mr. Grattan informing him of a Change 
of Ministry — Causes thereof — Lord Temple's conduct — Influencing 
the votes of the peers at the desire of the King — Conduct of Mr. Pitt 
and the King against Mr. Fox and the House of Commons — List of 
the New Ministry — Lord Northington's administration — Letter to Mr 
Grattan — Lord Sidney and the Lords of the Treasury respecting W. 
G. Hamilton's pension — Mr. Foster's appointment as Chancellor of 
the Exchequer — The appointment of resident persons to employments 



in Ireland— Mr. E. Cooke's appointment — Separation between Lord 
Charlemont and Mr. Grattan — Cause thereof— Mr. Grattan purchases 
a borough for Lord Charlemont's relation — His letter to Lord 
Charlemont and Isaac Corry — Reply of Lord Charlemont— Mr. 
G rattan's panegyric upon him . . . Page 170 


Mr. Fitzgibbon appointed Attorney-general — The part Mr. Grattan took 
in that transaction (note) — Mr. Grattan's and Mr. Burke's praise of 
Ilussey Burgh — Letter to Mr. Day — Annual Parliaments — Mr. Flood's 
motion for Reform, March, 1784 — Aggregate meeting — Mr. Tandy's 
letter to the Sheriff — Attempt to form a National Congress — Mr. 
Fitzgibbon's peremptory letter to the Sheriffs — Mr. Orde's letter to 
Mr. Grattan respecting the meeting and address — Meeting of Con- 
gress in October — Its failure — Proceedings against the sheriff by 
attachment — Mr. Fitzgibbon's defence thereof — Meeting of Parlia- 
ment, January 7, 1785 — Mr. Grattan's Speech on the Address — His 
advice to the people — Mr. Orde's letter to Mr. Grattan respecting 
his speech, and the thanks to the Volunteers — Lord Charles Fitz- 
gerald's and Mr. Brownlow's motion as to the attachment— Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon's haughty and overbearing manner — Mr. Corry and Mr. Cur- 
ran's attack — Mr. Flood renews the subject of attachments — Mr. 
(afterwards Lord) Erskine's opinion against them — Mr. Brownlow's 
motion — Injurious tendency thereof — Discussion as to the right of the 
Catholics to carry arms— Note — Lord Charlemont's answer to the 
Volunteers respecting the granting the elective franchise to the 
Catholics — Mr. Flood's amendment — Mr. Fitzgibbon's eulogium on 
Mr. Grattan ..... Page 198 


Committee on Irish trade — Mr. Gardiner's resolutions as to the trade 
and manufactures of Ireland — Mr. Foster and Mr. Orde's letters to 
Mr. Grattan on the commercial propositions — Mr. Orde introduces 
them — New taxes granted in consequence — Credulity of the Irish — 
The history of the Propositions— Imprudence thereof —Deceitful 
conduct of Mr. Pitt — Irish propositions, how received in England — 
Commercial jealousy — Mr. Pitt's twenty propositions — His 
speech— Petition from the English manufacturing towns — Mr. Burke's 



letter to Sir John Tydd on the debate — Lord Mornington to Mr. 
Grattan — Sketch of the debate in the English House — Mr. Pitt's pro- 
positions, how received in Ireland — Angry debates thereon — Proposi- 
tions abandoned — Mr. Grattan to Mr. Day — Extracts from Mr. 
Grattan's speech . . . . Page 233 


Mr. Orde abandons his Commercial Bill— Mr. Curran's Speech — Mr 
Fitzgibbon's attack upon Ireland — Repelled by Curran and Flood — 
Attack of Fitzgibbon upon Curran — Curran's Retort — Duel — Anec- 
dote respecting the debate — Speaker Pery resigns — His letter to the 
House — Letters of Mr. Grattan, Pery, and Conolly — Close of the 
Session — Exports and Imports of Ireland — Prosperous state of the 
Country — Gay Court of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland — Amica- 
ble intercourse of all parties — Poem of Sir H. Langrishe on the 
Duchess — Meeting of Parliament in 178G — Pension List — Disturb- 
ances in the South ensuing from Tithes — Riot Act — Navigation Act 
— -Clause of Sacrilege introduced by Mr. Fitzgibbon — Mr. Grattan's 
Speech — Mr. Fitzgibbon's attack on the English Opposition and on 
Mr. Grattan — Reply of the latter — Mr. Orde submits a plan of Edu- 
cation for Ireland .... Page 260 


History of tithes — Extraordinary demands by the Protestant clergy — 
Proceedings of parliament in reference thereto, from 1641 to 1735 — 
Tithe of agistment — Mr. Fitzgibbon's description of the state of the 
Irish peasantry — Mr. Grattan's proposition respecting tithe — Opposed 
by Mr. Orde — Death of the Duke of Rutland — Marquis of Bucking- 
ham succeeds him as Lord-Lieutenant — Mr. Forbes' and Mr. Grattan's 
letters — Mr. Grattan renews the tithe question in February, 1788 — 
His motion, and speech thereon, 14th February, 1788 — Effect pro 
duced by that speech — His motion lost . . Page 297 


Mr. Grattan's residence at Tinnehinch — Death of his favourite steward — 
Mr. Grattan renews the subject of tithes, 14th April, 1788 — Proposal 
for a settlement thereof — Goes to England — His letters to Mr. Broome 



and Mr. Day respecting the King's health, and his return to Parlia- 
ment the ensuing election — King's illness — Regency — State of parties 
in Ireland— Conduct of Mr. Fitzgibbon and the Government Fatal 
consequences to Ireland— Meeting of the English Parliament, No- 
vember, 1788— Regency question — Mr. Pitt's conduct — Mr. Fox's 
doctrine as to the Prince's right, originated by Lord Loughborough 
— Denied by Mr. Pitt — His letter to the Prince, and reply thereto — 
Resolutions carried against the Prince — Remarks thereon Page 331 


Meeting of the Irish parliament, February, 1789 — Regency — Mr. Grat- 
tan's motion to proceed by address — Carried — Mr. Fitzgibbon attacks 
Mr. Grattan — The House address the Prince of Wales, and invest 
him with full powers — The Lord-lieutenant refuses to transmit it — 
Delegates appointed — Second attack of Mr. Fitzgibbon on Mr. Grattan 
— Assertion of the rights of the Irish parliament — Carried — Letters of 
Mr. Pelham, the Duke of Portland, and Mr. Burke — Prince of Wales' 
friendly sentiment towards Ireland — Short money bill — Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon's threat to buy the House — Popular measures — The King 
recovers — The Prince's answer to the Irish Lords and Commons — 
Resolutions signed by the Duke of Leinster, Lord Charlemont, Mr. 
Grattan, &c. — Mr. Fitzgibbon attacks them — Meeting at the Provost's 
— Liberal offer rejected by Mr. Fitzgibbon — All the friends of the 
Prince turned out of office — List of Peerages sold . Page 360 


Character of Mr. Fitzgibbon — Question of tithes again brought forward 
by Mr. Grattan — Extracts of his speech — Proposes a composition for 
the Protestant clergy— Rejected— Publications against Mr. Grattan— 
Fate of the question— Treatment of the Protestant church by the 
Imperial parliament— Proceedings of Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Pitt — 
Departure of the Marquess of Buckingham — Speech of Mr. Curran— 
His character ..... Page 393 


Formation of the Whig Club— Lord Charlemont's and Mr. Edmund 
Burke's opinions— Whig opposition — Tory Government — Members of 



the Whig Club — Their declarations — Lord Westmoreland appointed 
Lord-lieutenant, and Mr. Hobart secretary — Proceedings of the Irish 
House of Commons in 1790 — Singular speech of Mr. Parsons, after- 
wards Lord Rosse — Mr. Grattan's charges of corruption against 
the Government — Offers to prove them — Popular measures rejected 
— Abuse of justice in the case of fiats granted for libels — Continua- 
tion of sessions — Parliament dissolved — General election, 1790 — Mr. 
G rattan returned for the city of Dublin — County of Down election — 
Mr. Robert Stewart (Lord Castlereagh) pledges himself to popular 
reform — His address to the electors . . . Page 428 



1. List of the Members of the Convention . . . 4G7 

2. Statistical Account of the Representation of Ireland, as made 

by the Volunteers, 1783 ..... 472 

3. British Act of Renunciation ..... 488 

4. The Eleven Irish Propositions — List of the Division . . 489 

5. The Twenty British Propositions .... 495 

6. The British Act of Trade between Ireland, the Colonies, and 

America ....... 502 

7. The Songs of " Love in a Village," 1789 . . . 509 




Mr. Grattan to Mr. Broome, 12th December, 1782, — Describes his 
country life ...... 

Same .. to same, 15th December, 1782, — Christmas invitation 

Mr. Levinge to Mr. Grattan, lfith December, 1782, — Congratulations 
on his marriage — Dublin Volunteers . 

Mr. Daly to same, 15th December, 1782, — Congratulations— Volun- 
teers — Lord Mansfield ..... 

Lord Annally to same, 24th December, 1782, — Invitation to Tennelick 
— Fitzgibbon — Judge Henn — Mr. Cuffe 

Lord Mornington to same, Dth December, 1782, — English Ministry — 
Division of parties — Lord Mansfield . 

Mr. Fitzpatrick to Mr. Ogle, 20th December, 1782, — Judicial supre- 
macy of Ireland — Lord Beauchamp — Mr. Flood 

Mr. Robert Stewart (Lord Castlereagh's father) to Mr. Grattan, 12th 
January, 1783, respecting Lord Mansfield 

Lord Mornington to same, 22nd January, 1783, — Debate on Renun- 
ciation Bill in English House of Commons 
Same .. to same, 24th January, 1783, — Irish writs of error — 
Lord Bellamont — note .... 

Mr. Fitzpatrick to same, 28th January, 1783, — Repeal of 6th of Geo. I. 
— Renunciation Bill ..... 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Day, 12th November, 1783,— Sends him his reply 
to Mr. Flood ...... 




General Burgoyne to Mr. Fox, 31st October, 1783, — Volunteer Con- 
vention—Bishop of Derry— Grattan and Flood — Will of Mr. 
Grattan ....... 98 

Mr. Fox to the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Northington) 1st November, 
1783, — On the National Convention — Mr. Grattan — Boons 
to Ireland— Scott and Fitzgibbon . . . .106' 

Same .. to General Burgoyne, 7th November, 1783, — Opinion 

on the Volunteer Convention — Irish affairs . . .112 

General Burgoyne to Mr. Fox, 8th November, 1783, — The Bishop of 

Derry -. . .125 

Mr. Fox to the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Northington) 14th November, 

1783,— The Delegates and the Bishop of Derry . . 126 

General Burgoyne to Mr. Fox, 17th November, 1783, — The Bishop of 

Derry— Mr. Flood— State of parties . . . .127 

Lord Lieutenant (Lord Northington) to same, 17th November, 1783, — 
The Convention — Mr. Flood — Boons to Ireland — Appoint- 
ments of Scott and Fitzgibbon . . . . .129 

Same .. to same, 30th November, 1783, — Debate in Volunteer 

Convention — Plan of Reform — Flood and Luttrell . . 156 

Same .. to Lord North, 2nd December, 1783, — Augmentation 

of salary by Parliament . . . . .171 

Same .. to same, 3rd December, 1783,— Salary of Lord Lieu- 
tenant . , . . ... . . 173 

Lord Temple to Lord Northington, 21st December, 1783, — The King 

approves the increase of salary . . . .174 

Lord Northington to Mr. Grattan, 22nd December, 1783, — Change of 

Ministry — Resolutions of House of Commons . . 177 

King George III. to Mr. Pitt, 15th February, 1784,— His dislike to 
Mr. Fox — Conduct of the House of Commons and of oppo- 
sition . . . . . . . 178 

Lord Northington to Mr. Grattan, 2nd February, 1784, — His letters on 

Foster and Cook's business ..... 186 

Same .. to Lord Sidney, 20th February, 1784, — The appointment of 
resident persons to Irish employments — William Gerald 
Hamilton ....... 187 

Same . . to the Lords of the Treasury, 20th February, 1784. — On 

the appointment of E. Cooke . . . . .188 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Isaac Corry, February, 1784, — His conduct as to 

Government . . . . . . .193 

Lord Charlemont to Mr. Grattan, 9th February, 1784,— Rupture be- 
tween them— Sir A. Stewart's son brought into Parliament . 194 




Mr. Grattan to Lord Charleraont, 14th February, 1/84, — Difference 

of opinion — Explains his conduct . . . .195 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Day, 18th July, 1784,— Appointments by Go- 
vernment ....»•• 204 

Mr. Fitzgibbon to High Sheriffs of Dublin, 16th September, 1784,— 

Threatening to prosecute them . . . .207 

Mr. Orde to Mr. Grattan, 18th September, 1784,— National Congress 209 
Same .. to same, 28th September, 1784, — National Congress — 

Address to the King . . . . . .210 

Same . . to same, 24th January, 1785, — Debate on the National 

Congress — Commercial plan ..... 216 

Same .. to same, 17th February, 1785, — The Lord Lieutenant's 

approval of his conduct — Thanks to Volunteers . .217 

Mr. Foster to same, 28th January, 1785, — On the Commercial Propo- 
sitions ........ 236 

Mr. Orde to same, 16th April, 1785, — On the Commercial Propositions 237 
Same .. to same, 21st April, 1785, — On the Commercial Propo- 
sitions . . . , . . .238 
Mr. Burke to Sir John Tydd, 13th May, 1785,— Debate on the Propo- 
sitions in the English House of Commons . . . 250 
Lord Mornington to Mr. Grattan, 20th June, 1785, — On his opposing 

the Propositions ....... 253 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Day, Sept. 1785, — Errors in his speeches as 

reported ........ 262 

Mr. Pery to Mr. Foster, 7th Sept. 1785,— Thanks of the House of Com- 
mons on resigning the Speakership .... 271 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Pery, 15th Sept. 1785, — On his resigning the 

Speakership . . . . . . .272 

Mr. Pery to Mr. Grattan, 17th Sept. 1785,— Returning thanks . . 273 
Mr. Conolly to Same, 3rd Sept. 1785, — On the Address to the Lord- 
lieutenant ....... 274 

Mr. Forbes to Same, 26th Nov. 1787, — Payment to the clergy — Mar- 
quess of Buckingham — Mr. Fitzherbert . . .314 
Mr. Grattan to Mr. Day, Dec. 1787, — Invitation to the country . . 315 
Same to Mr. Broome, 8th Oct. 1788, — Visit to Bath, Birmingham, 

and Mr. Bolton's manufactories .... 337 

Same to Mr. Day, 1st Dec. 1788, — King's health — Marquess of 

Buckingham— Jobbing— Tithes . . . .339 

Same to same, 5th Dec. 1788, — Elections — Counties of Dublin and 

Wicklow — Electioneering interests .... 340 




Mr. Pitt to the Prince of Wales (note), 30th Dec. 1788,— Conveying 
Resolutions of the House of Commons, investing him with the 

Regency .... ... 351 

Mr. Pelham to Mr. Grattan, 19th Feb. 1789 . . 372 

Duke of Portland to same, 21st Feb. 1789 . , . . .373 

Mr. Burke to same, 19th March, 1789 . . . .376 

Mr. Forbes to same, 21 Dec. 1789,— English Revenue Officers' Bill — 
His Responsibility Bill — Mr. Pitt and his Majesty — French 
National Assembly ..... 439 






Mr. Grattan's marriage with Miss Fitzgerald — Her family — Wonderful 
age of Catherine Fitzgerald, Countess of Desmond — Mrs. Grattan's 
character — They settle at Tinnehinch — Description of the Dargle — 
Letters of Mr. Daly, Levinge, and Lord Annaly, on the conduct of 
Lord Mansfield — Address of the Independent DublinVolunteers to Mr. 
Grattan on the Act of the Renunciation — His spirited and constitu- 
tional reply — Rupture between him and the volunteers — Loss of 
popularity — Irish case in the English courts decided by Lord Mans- 
field — His character. 

On Mr. Grattan's return from abroad, he inter- 
married with Miss Henrietta Fitzgerald, who, on 
her father's side, was descended from the Desmond 
family. The statement respecting the celebrated 
and singular lady who founded the family, was 
supplied by Maurice Fitzgerald, the Knight of 
Kerry. " Catherine Fitzgerald, (the long-lived) 
Countess of Desmond, was supposed to be the 
great ancestress of all the branches of the Fitz- 




gerald family, (on their separation from OfFalie, 
created Kildare,) and it was said, was the great- 
grandmother of Geraldine, the love of Surrey. 
This illustrious person was born about the year 
1464 — was married in the reign of Edward IV. — 
lived during the entire reigns of Edward V., 
Richard III., Henry VII., Henry VIII., Edward 
VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, and died in the latter 
end of the reign of James I., at the great age of, 
as was generally supposed, 162 years. It is his- 
torically ascertained that she lived to the age 
of 150,* as some family documents prove that she 
survived a trust of 99 years raised to support her 
jointure, and on its failure was said to have gone 
to Queen Elizabeth to ask for an allowance in 
lieu thereof : — therefore, supposing her married 
at the age of 18 or 20, it accounts for her living 
to an extraordinary age. Her unmarried name 
was supposed to have been O'Conor, and she 
was interred in the royal vaults of this family. 

* Bacon, in his Novum Organum, in the History of Life and Death, 
alludes to this individual ; he says, 

" The Irish, especially the Wild Irish, even at this day, live very long. 
Certainly they report that within these few years the Countess of Des- 
mond lived to 140 years of age, and had teeth three times." He adds, 
" Now the Irish have a fashion to chafe, and as it were, to baste themselves 
with salt butter against the fire/ 1 " Vol. xiv. p. 375. 

This may have been the practice to procure long life in Lord Bacon's 
time, but it does not appear to have been hereditary in any of the 
branches of the Countess's family, though some of them, in the vulgar 
acceptation of the phrase, often underwent that manual application, but 
from the foes rather than the friends of that illustrious house. 

CHAP. I.] 



Horace Walpole in his Works, records from her 
that Shakespeare was guilty of historical inac- 
curacy in describing Richard III. as deformed 
and crook-backed, as she gave a very different 
and a flattering account of his symmetry. A 
copy of her picture, painted on wood, is in the 
possession of the Herbert family of Muckruss 
(Killarney). The original picture was for some 
time lost ; but it was found at last, and is now in 
the collection of Lansdowne House.* 

On the mother's side, Mrs. Grattan was de- 
scended from the family of the Stevensons of the 
county of Down. Her father, who had been in the 
army, having died young, his widow intermarried 
with Mr. Moore, brother to Lord Drogheda. Her 
daughter was then entrusted to the care of her 
grandmother, Mrs. Stevenson, a spirited and inde- 
pendent lady, who took an active part in the 
politics of the county of Down, her husband 

* There is a portrait of this lady in the Standard Closet of Windsor, 
as appears in a catalogue of the pictures by Dr. Derham. This cele- 
brated lady, who lived at Inchiquin, in Munster, was well known to Sir 
Walter Raleigh. She married in the reign of Edward IV., when she 
danced with Richard, Duke of Gloucester. She held her jointure from 
all the Earls of Desmond since that time, and was as remarkable for her 
sprightliness as for her age. It is probable that her dancing days were 
not over when a century of her life had elapsed. Certain it is that, after 
she had stood the shock of 140 years, she went from Bristol to London 
to solicit some relief from the court, as she had long been very poor from 
the ruin of the house of Desmond by an attainder. According to Sir Wm. 
Temple, she died some years above 140; she was not living in 
1614, when Sir W. Raleigh published his history. — Graigner's Hist. 
vol. ii. p. 6. 

B 2 



[CHAP. I. 

being the patron of the borough of Killyleagh.* 
On the death of her grandfather, Miss Fitzgerald 
came to Dublin, where she was greatly admired, 
both for her personal charms and her mental 
accomplishments. But these were the least of her 
attractions : to the graces of a handsome person, 
a commanding air and figure, she united a recti- 
tude of mind, a purity of thought, a dignity of 
manner, and a disposition the most amiable and 
benign ; the sweetness of her voice and that of 
her temper were singularly engaging. She was 
full of virtue, charity, and piety, and was re- 
spected, admired, and beloved by all who knew 
her. Religion (that heavenly consolation to the 
afflicted) produced in her a second existence ; 
and when oppressed by illness, and for 26 years 
unable to walk, she bore the severest bodily pain 
with a serenity of temper and a calmness of mind 
that never was soured, and could scarcely be 
ruffied : the submissive courage she displayed 
rendered her disposition more amiable and more 
gentle, and almost overcame the severe trials sent 
by Providence. Such is the reward of spotless 

* This individual seems to have acted well, if any opinion can be 
formed from the inscription on his wife's tomb-stone : — "Ann Stevenson, 
widow of the late John Stevenson, of Killyleagh, who attended his duty 
as Representative in Parliament 47 years, during which time he never 
gave a vote against the interest of his country." One of this lady's sisters 
married Sir William Hawkins, the other Mr. (afterwards Sir John) 
Blackwood ; the latter was created Lady DufTerin at the Union. The 
public spirited conduct of her husband towards Lord Castlereagh on 
that occasion will appear hereafter. 



integrity — such the blessings of the heart that 
knows no guile. Her bodily infirmity towards the 
close of her life, was sustained as nobly as the 
mental afflictions in the early part ; and her forti- 
tude in the trying scenes she passed through at 
the periods of 1798 and 1800, (the insurrection 
and Union ; ) did credit alike to her head and 
her heart. Her feelings and sentiments on these 
sad events were worthy of him to whom she was 
allied, and such as would have done honour to a 
Greek or Roman matron. 

But even at this period Mr. Grattan was 
doomed to pass through the severest trial, and 
undergo the most painful scenes. Just before 
the marriage, Miss Fitzgerald was suddenly 
seized by an illness which the Faculty pro- 
nounced to be fatal, and she was given over 
by the chief physicians in Dublin. So trying 
a circumstance, as may well be conceived, 
drove Mr. Grattan almost to despair. How- 
ever, he showed his character, even at this mo- 
ment, and took a decided course : his friend 
Broome was acquainted with a Mr. Lindsay, an 
army surgeon, bold and skilful, but not then 
known in his profession. To him Mr Grattan had 
recourse. He led him to the room of the dying 
patient, and desired him to go in and " behold the 
last remains of departing beauty." Though the case 
was desperate, Lindsay, however, did not des- 
pair ; he tried a new, and what was then consi- 



[chap. i. 

dered a bold experiment ; he administered strong 
doses of quicksilver, by which he restored her to 
life, and thereby established himself in his pro- 

After his marriage, Mr. Grattan turned his 
steps to that part of the country which he had 
visited in his infancy, and on which he seemed to 
have rivetted his affection, — the vale of Tinne- 
hinch. This, as well as Celbridge, had been one 
of his early and favourite retreats. With his 
friend Broome he used to repair to the county of 
Wicklow, where, after many long and romantic 
rambles in the glens of the neighbourhood, they 
returned at night to the little inn, which then lay 
at the foot of the hill. In the front of this flows 
the river which runs from Powerscourt waterfall 
to the Dargle, and thence to the sea : just at this 
spot a bridge crosses the stream, and behind 
ijt rises the mountain called the Sugar Loaf. In 
describing this scene in one of his early letters, he 
says :- — " I have not forgotten the romantic val- 
ley — I look on it with an eye of forecast — it may 
be the recreation of an active life, or the retreat of 
an obscure one, or the romantic residence of 
philosophical friendship." 

With a view of purchasing this place, which 
he did shortly afterwards, he came to Wing- 
field, a country seat in the neighbourhood. The 
description of the scenery hereabouts is so well 
given by Arthur Young, in his Tour in Ireland, 

CHAP. I.] 



that even now it will be easily recognized by all 
who have visited the county of Wicklow, and it 
has accordingly been introduced, not less on ac- 
count of its beauty than its accuracy. 

« 1776, July 1G.— Took my leave of General 
Cunningham,* and went through the glen of the 
Downs on my way to Powerscourt. The glen is 
a pass between two vast ridges of mountains 
covered with wood, which have a very noble 
effect ; the vale is no wider than to admit the 
road, a small gurgling river almost by its side, and 
narrow slips of rocky and shrubby ground, which 
parts them. In the front all escape seems denied 
by an immense conical mountain, f which rises 
out of the glen, and seems to fill it up. The 
scenery is of a most magnificent character. On 
the top of the ridge, to the right, Mr. La Touche % 
has a banqueting room. Passing from this sub- 
lime scene, the road leads through cheerful 
grounds, all under corn, rising and falling to the 
eye, and then to a vale of charming verdure broken 
into enclosures, and bounded by two rocky moun- 
tains ;§ distant, darker mountains filling up the 
scene in front. This whole ride is interesting, for 
within a mile and a half of Tinnyhinch (the inn 
to which I was directed), you come to a delicious 

* Then residing at Newtown Mount Kennedy, 
f Sugar-loaf. 

\ The widow of Mr. Peter Latouche still lives, a model for all who 
follow in the path of virtue, and practise deeds of charity. 
§ The Great and Little Sugar-Loaf. J 



[CHAP. I. 

view on the right, a small vale opening to the sea, 
bounded by mountains,* whose dark shade forms 
a perfect contrast to the extreme beauty and lively 
verdure of the lower scene, consisting of gently 
swelling lawnsf rising from each other, with 
groups of trees between, and the whole so prettily 
scattered with white farms, as to add every idea 
of cheerfulness. 

" Kept on towards Powerscourt, which presently 
came in view from the edge of a declivity.^ You 
look full upon the house, which appears to be in 
the most beautiful situation in the world : on the 
side of a mountain, § half way between its bare 
top and an irriguous vale at its foot. In front, 
and spreading among woods on either side, is a 
lawn, whose surface is beautifully varied in 
gentle declivities, hanging to a winding river. 

" Lowering the hill, the scenery is yet more agree- 
able : the near inclosures are margined with trees 
through whose open branches are seen whole 
fields of the most lively verdure ; the trees gather 
into groups, and the lawn swells into gentle ine- 
qualities, while the river winding beneath, renders 
the whole truly pleasing. 

* Shangana and Killiney Mountains. 

f Wingfield and Old Connaught — the latter the residence of Lord 
Chancellor Plunkett — lie in that direction. 
X Newtown-hill. 

§ The Anna Moulins on one side, Glen Cree and the mountains over 
Lough Bray, in the rear, where the romantic cottage of Sir Philip 
Crampton is situated. 

CHAP. I.] 



" Breakfasted at the inn at Tinnyhinch, and then 
drove to the park to see the waterfall. The park* 
itself is fine; you enter it between two vast masses 
of mountain, covered with wood, forming a vale 
scattered with trees, through which flows a river 
on a broken rocky channel. You follow this vale 
till it is lost in a most uncommon manner : the 
ridges of mountain f closing, form one great am- 
phitheatre of wood, from the top of which, at the 
height of many hundred feet, bursts the water 
from a rock, and tumbling down the side of a 
very large one, forms a scene singularly beautiful. 
At the bottom is a spot of velvet turf, from which 
rises a clump of oaks, and through their stems, 
branches, and leaves, the falling water is seen as 
a back ground, with an effect more picturesque 
than can well be imagined. These few trees, and 
this little lawn, J: give the finishing to the scene. 
The water falls behind some large fragments of 
rock, and turns to the left down a stony channel, 
under the shade of a wood. 

" Returning to Tinnyhinch, I went to Inniskerry, 
and gained by this detour, in my return to go to 
the Dargle, a beautiful view which I should other- 
wise have lost. The road runs on the edge of a 
declivity from whence there is a most pleasing 

* Lord Powerscourt's deer-park. 

f The Dowse Mountain, and the War Hill. 

| Here stood the banqueting-room, where parties were permitted to 



[CHAP. I. 

prospect of the river's course through the vale and 
the wood of Power's Court, which here appear 
in large masses of dark shade, and the whole 
bounded by mountains. A turn to the left, into 
the private road that leads to the Dargle, pre- 
sently gives a specimen of what is to be expected 
by a romantic glen of wood, where the high lands 
almost lock into each other,* and leave scarce a 
passage for the river at bottom, which rages as if 
with difficulty forcing its way. It is topped by a 
high mountain, and in front you catch a beautiful 
plat of inclosures bounded by the sea. 

" Enter the Dargle, which is the name of a glen 
near a mile long. Come presently to one of the 
finest ranges of wood I have any where seen : it is 
a narrow glen or vale formed by the sides of two 
opposite mountains, the whole thickly spread with 
oak-wood to the bottom (and the depth is immense) ; 
it is narrowed to the mere channel of the river, 
which rather tumbles from rock to rock than runs. 
The extent of wood that hangs to the eye in every 
direction is great; the depth of the precipice on 
which you stand is immense, which, with the roar of 
the water at bottom, forms a scene truly interesting. 

" In less than a quarter of a mile the road pass- 

* This spot realises the description of the poet : — 
Est locus Italise in medio — sub montibus altis 
Nobilis, et fama multis memoratus in oris 
Amsancti valles, densis hunc frond ibus atrum 
Urget utrinque latus nemoris, medioque fragosus 
Dat sonitum saxis et torto vortice torrens. 

CHAP. I.] 



ing through a wood leads to another point of 
view to the right. It is the crown of a vast pro- 
jecting rock from which you look down a preci- 
pice absolutely perpendicular, and many hundred 
feet deep,* upon the torrent at the bottom, which 
finds its noisy way over large fragments of rock. 
The point of view is a great projection of the 
mountain on this side, answered by a concave of 
the opposite, so that you command the glen both 
to the right and left : it exhibits on both immense 
sheets of forest, which have a most magnificent 
appearance. Beyond the wood to the right are 
some inclosures hanging on the side of a hill, 
crowned by a mountain. 

11 1 knew not how to leave so interesting a spot. 
The impressions raised by it are strong: — the so- 
lemnity of such an extent of wood, unbroken by 
any intervening objects, and the whole hanging 
over declivities, is alone great ; but to this, the 
addition of a constant roar of falling water, either 
quite hid, or so far below as to be seen but ob- 
scurely, united to make those impressions stronger. 
No contradictory emotions are raised— no ill judged 
temples appear to enliven a scene that is gloomy 
rather than gay. Falling or moving water is a 
lively object ; but this being obscure, the noise 
operates differently. 

* The Lover a Leap ; so called from a fable of some victim to an ill- 
requited passion, who precipitated himself in a fit of despair to the 



[CHAP. I. 

" Following the road a little further, there is 
another bold, rocky projection, from which also 
there is a double view to the right and left; in front 
so immense a sweep of hanging wood, that a nobler 
scene can hardly be imagined : the river as before 
at the bottom of the precipice, which is so steep, 
and the depth so great, as to be quite fearful to look 
down. This horrid precipice, the pointed bleak 
mountains in view, with the roar of the water, all 
conspire to raise one great emotion of the sublime. 

"You advance scarcely twenty yards before a 
pretty scene opens on the left — a distant landscape 
of enclosures, with a river winding between the 
hills to the sea.* Passing to the right, fresh 
scenes of wood appear: half way from the bottom 
one different from the precedent is seen ; you are 
almost inclosed in wood ; and look to the right, 
through some low oaks on the opposite banks of 
wood, with an edging of trees, through which the 
sky is seen ; which, added to an uncommon ele- 
gance in the outline of the hill, has a most pleasing 
effect. Winding down to a thatched benchf on a 
rocky point, you look upon an uncommon scene. 
Immediately beneath is a vast chasm in the rock, 
which seems torn asunder to let the torrent 
through, that comes tumbling over a rocky bed far 

* Where the village of Bray is now situated. 

f Here still remains the moss-house constructed by the third Earl of 
Powerscourt, where ingress was allowed to all visitors or travel- 

CHAP. I.] 



sunk in a channel embosomed in wood. Above 
is a range of gloomy obscure woods, which half 
overshadow it, and rising to a vast height, ex- 
clude every object. To the left the water rolls 
away over broken rocks : a scene truly romantic. 

" Followed the path : it led me to the water's edge 
at the bottom of the glen, where is a new scene 
in which not a single circumstance hurts the prin- 
cipal character. In a hollow formed of rock and 
wood (every object excluded but those and water) 
the torrent breaks forth from fragments of rock, 
and tumbles through the chasm, rocks bulging 
over it as if ready to fall into the channel, and 
stop the impetuous water. The shade is so thick 
as to exclude the heavens — all is retired and 
gloomy — a brown horror breathing over the 
whole. It is a spot for melancholy to muse in." 

Such was the character of the place that Mr. 
Grattan selected for his abode ; these lovely spots 
he mused in when melancholy — he rejoiced in 
when gay ; here he often trod, meditating on his 
country's wrong — her long dreary night of dark- 
ness and oppression ; and here he first beheld the 
bright transient light of her redemption and her 
glory. Here too, in the moments of grief, he wept 
over her divisions and her downfall. How often 
have 1 beheld the tear glistening in his eye, as 
he strode along her paths, engrossed with the 
thoughts of some of his speeches, and stamping 
on the soil as if he would crush her enemies ! — 



[CHAP. I. 

'Twas here he received the friends of his country, 
of his youth, of his age ; and those whose eyes may 
glance perhaps across these pages, can well re- 
member the urbanity with which they were wel- 
comed — the warm reception that every friend to 
freedom met with ; and even those who differed 
in politics were greeted with an hospitality and 
address, that almost seemed to have for its object, 
to make a convert to honest principle and public 
virtue, without offending their prejudices or their 

The following letters may prove not uninter- 
esting : they allude to the politics of the day. 
The passage in Mr. Levinge's letter, wherein he 
speaks of " im-Colonelling" Mr. Grattan, refers to 
the Dublin volunteers, of which Mr. Flood was 
second in command. After Mr. Grattan's reply to 
that body, they proceeded to choose a commander 
for the ensuing year; and though there was a 
diversity of opinion, and a division, the majority 
were in favour of Mr. Grattan, and he was re- 
elected; but after he had voted in 1783, for keep- 
ing up the usual quota of troops, and against Mr. 
Flood's motion for retrenchment, the corps elected 
another officer to command them in his place. 


Wingfield, \2th Dec, 1782. 

My Dear Broome; 
I got your letter. Your man called on me when I was in 
the carriage, but I was posting out of town, and could not 




stop. I will send a car for the things on Saturday ; in the 
meantime, I wish they were on Friday examined, and sent 
to your house, where I will send the car; perhaps you 
could come down on Saturday and stay Sunday. There 
are three bedchambers for company, two of them unoccu- 
pied. We dine at half an hour after four — breakfast not 
too early for you, and go to bed before eleven — have tea, — 
eggs, very good — bread and butter : — are within a quarter 
of an hour of the Dargle, close to a mountain-walk ; have 
good sauntering grounds, backgammon table, Sankey* 
25 claret ; and in short, you must come. 

I mean to stay here as long as I can ; I found myself 
relapsing in Dublin, and have received such a number of 
visits there, that I must keep out of it, as a debtor must 
avoid the residence of creditors whom he cannot pay. 

I find by the accounts, that peace is likely ; that will give 
a new direction to the politicians here. I hope England 
may not suppose that the recantation of several bodies in 
this kingdom, was the act of the nation. 1 thank you for 
the horse; if I have not already gotten another one, I shall 
trouble you for yours. The coach-horses do extremely 
well ; I wish I had two more to match them. 

Yours, most sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 


Wingfield, near Bray, \5th Dec. 1782. 
My Dear Broome; 
My wife gives her compliments to you ; we will expect 
you at Christmas. I wish to consult about country pro- 
jects — I think I'll settle somewhere hereabouts. 

* A well known Dublin wine merchant, the age of whose claret seems 
set down at 25 years. 



There is nobody to be here at Christmas except my wife's 
brother* — whom you will like, and who begs that T should 
present his compliments to you. Yours sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 


Caherston, Bee. 16th, 1782. 

Dear Grattan ; 
Among the various articles of intelligence, which the suc- 
cessor of the communicative Saunders-f gives the public, 
none could afford your friends at this place so much pleasure, 
as his announcing, that Henry Grattan was married to Miss 
Fitzgerald. We heartily congratulate you upon the occa- 
sion, and sincerely wish you every degree of felicity in that 
state, of which your judicious choice of, and alliance with, 
so amiable a young lady, holds out more than a reasonable 
prospect. I had much satisfaction in hearing from your 
uncle the Dean,J that you have firmly established your 
health, by your late jaunt to Spa. I was happy in read- 
ing an address from your late military associates, who 
have gone far in the spirit of colonelling or uncolonelling, 
I know not which their genius is the stronger for. I ad- 
mire your manner of answering fools according to their 
folly, and which you have effectually done ; people generally 
form their notions of parties by their leaders. 

The chairman of your band of instructors hath learned 
his art of politics, under my old friend George Faulk- 

* Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzgerald, of the 29th regiment, the best tem- 
pered and most obliging individual; he resided during several years 
in Italy, and many of our modern travellers are much indebted to him 
for the personal kindness he shewed them, and the unexpected civilities 
received from him. 

f A Dublin newspaper. 

% Dean Marley, afterwards Bishop of Waterford. 

CHAP. I.] 



ner, # to whom lie was an apprentice, among other lighter stu- 
dies. The interest of princes and the federal rights of nations 
were his principal forte, to which his journal yields an ample 
testimony. The disciple hath had many advantages over 
his master: the amor patrice he can imbibe from Lord 
Beauchamp ; obtain consistency of conduct, or a sufficient 
apology for the want of it, from Flood ; national treaties he 
maybe taught to comment upon, or explain away, by that 
most respectable body the Attornies' Corps. 1 request that 
you will be so good as to make the respectable compliments, 
as well as the kindest wishes, of this family acceptable 
to Mrs. Grattan. I am, my dear Sir, 

Very affectionately and faithfully yours, 
Richard Levinge. 


Dunsandle, Dec. 15th, 1782. 

My Dear Harry, 
I must throw my congratulations in amongst a thousand 
others, which, I dare say, you receive every day, and wish 
you joy and happiness most sincerely ; — you seem, indeed, 
to have taken sufficient care to secure an ample share of 

It is most certainly unmerciful to take up your time at 
present, but I can't help sliding a few words of politics in 
by way of relaxation, after your intense application to 
business. Thank God ! we are now going to have peace. 
I firmly believe it to be the only event that can settle this 
country in a tolerable state of composure. We have reaped 
the benefits of having armed the people, and now I hope 
we shall avoid the inconveniences of it. Our volunteers 
here were ready to determine any question in the whole 

* The proprietor of a Dublin newspaper. 


circle of sciences that should be proposed to them, and to 
burn every unfortunate person that doubted their infalli- 
bility. I am very glad to hear that a spirited requisition 
has been sent over, about Lord Mansfield's conduct. 
Pray what effect do you suppose, or do you hear, the 
peace is likely to have on that affair, and the resolution 
which was transmitted to the English Cabinet ? 

If they are really wise, they will do that, as an act of 
favour now, which some time ago might have been con- 
strued into an act of humiliation. At all events, I depend 
upon the common sense of any Ministry that may be 
uppermost in England, not to attack us again, even if they 
were sure we should submit for the present. After what 
has happened, surely no set of men could be so desperate, 
as to leave any of the remaining parts of the Empire dis- 
satisfied, and inclined to take advantage of the weakness 
of Great Britain, upon any future hostilities, and that 
without a single motive that can possibly be invented. I 
will trespass upon you no longer now ; when you have 
nothing else to do, let me hear from you, and believe me 
to be ever, Yours affectionately, 

Denis Daly. 

P.S. Lady Farnham begs that you will remember, when 
you are at leisure, that you promised to look out for a place 
for her in Wicklow. 


Tennelick, 24th Bee, 1782. 

My Dear Grattan, 
Now do not think I am going to give you a formal 
invitation, &c. to Tennelick — I know how to prefer my 
friends' happiness to my own better than to do so — but I 



am going to mention to you some philosophic remarks, 
which do you apply, and act accordingly. Have you 
never observed that nature contributes to the happiness of 
mankind, by contrasting one thing against another ? — for 
instance, the splendour of the sun, and the beauty of a fine 
summer's day, are succeeded by the darkness and quiet 
of the night; and that not only prevents our being over- 
powered by too long a continuance of pleasure, but also 
adds considerably to the lustre of the succeeding morning. 
Many other instances might be added. I have been told 
that some men (and wise ones too), even in the zenith of 
their happiness, have retired, for some time, to enjoy the 
conversation of the most rigid and severe of all relations. 

If these considerations should have any weight with you, 
Tennelick is your only place. Fitzgibbon will (I'll venture 
to say for him) thoroughly contrast the complacency you 
enjoy at present, and prove to you, that a simple repeal of 
a statute does not amount to the renunciation of a right. 
Henn,* especially at cards and breakfast (when he spills 
the chocolate), will convince you that a little peevishness 
gives a zest to conversation ; and the Right Honourable 
Mr. Cuffef will entertain you with some curious Petites 
Uistoires, that I believe you have not been used to for 
some time. If you approve of this plan, we shall be ex- 
ceedingly glad to see you, either mounted on your grey 
charger, attended by some worthy successor of my friend 
Matts,J — or (if you affect the dignity of a Colonel of the 
Independents §) drawn by four bad horses in a hired post- 
chaise. I have not the honour of being known to Mrs. 
Grattan, which I much long for, both as she is your wife, 

* Judge Henn. 

t Afterwards Tyrawly, a gay and lively character, and a great friend 
of Mr. Grattan. 

X His old servant. § Dublin Volunteers. 

c 2 



[CHAP. I. 

and as I never remember any body so universally well 
spoken of. She will very much oblige me, in accepting 
my best respects and compliments; and you will only do me 
justice in believing that I am, with great truth and regard, 
My dear Grattan, most affectionately yours, 


Sankey and I are tete-a-tete, and drinking Mrs. Grattan's 
and your health. 

Mr. Grattan was not, however, long allowed to 
remain tranquil in the country, or enjoy domestic 
repose, apart from the cares and the vexation of 
politics. He commanded the corps of Independent 
Dublin Volunteers, of which Mr. Flood was 
Lieut. -Colonel, and differing in opinion from him, 
they presented the following address, expressive 
of their sentiments on the question which had 
been raised by Mr. Flood. 

At a meeting of the Corps, December 1st, 1782, Captain 
Henry Whitestone in the chair, 

Resolved unanimously, That the following Address be 
presented to our Colonel, Henry Grattan, Esq. — 

* Gore (Lord Annaly) had been an early friend of Mr. Grattan, who 
visited him frequently in his younger days at his residence in the county 
of Longford, where the sports of the field and fox-hunting were the 
fashionable amusements, This once hospitable place and splendid 
mansion, are now dilapidated, and like many other Irish domains, live 
only in the recollection of what their former grandeur was. No vestige 
of the house remains. The estate was purchased by the late Mr. Luke 
White, that model of industry, sterling sense, and worth. 

CHAP. I.] 




The Address of the Corps of Independent Dublin 


An unsuspecting and liberal confidence, natural to the 
people of Ireland, betrayed this Corps into a belief of 
sincerity in the intention of Great Britain, and they 
accordingly expressed, by a public resolve, their satisfac- 
tion at the Repeal of an English Declaratory Law ; a law 
enacted during an intoxication of power against a country 
then depressed by the tyranny of its usurpers, and bleed- 
ing in consequence of its own unhappy intestine division. 

But the experience of ages, and many recent alarming 
circumstances, have awakened fears, which must naturally 
extend to the breasts of all who w ish unequivocal precision 
established in place of present uncertainty, lest the liberties 
of this country, heretofore wantonly trampled on, may at 
a future period be garbled or explained away, by corrupt 
or chimerical servants of the crown. 

We feel the time now arrived, when silence becomes 
criminal, after a Committee, chosen from the best informed 
body in this nation, the Lawyers' Corps, have declared our 
present security inadequate ; with whose report, and the 
two following Resolutions of that Corps, we most perfectly 
agree : — 

" That a voluntary and express renunciation on the part 
of Great Britain, of all claim of right to bind Ireland, 
either externally or internally, would, in our opinion, give 
great satisfaction to this country, and render the union 
between the two kingdoms permanent and indissoluble. 

" That an Act of the Irish Parliament, ascertaining and 
securing the Rights of this country, is, in our opinion, 
necessary for the establishment of its liberties." 



[chap. I. 

Because their very great knowledge of the laws, and in 
these points their indefatigable zeal and researches, have 
placed the situation of public affairs in the clearest point 
of view. 

Therefore, we earnestly wish these our opinions, in which 
we find ourselves supported by all virtuous Irishmen, may 
meet your hearty concurrence and strenuous support, to 
establish on a secure and lasting foundation, the rights 
and liberties of this much injured country, as we are deter- 
mined at the risk of everything dear to us, to exert all 
constitutional means to transmit them to posterity in- 

Henry Whitestone, Chairman. 

The answer which Mr. Grattan gave was, per- 
haps, one of the best conceived and most digni- 
fied of his productions ; liberal in its sentiments, 
bold and energetic in its style, it discovers the con- 
sistent manliness of an honest and determined 
character. He made the principles of honour the 
basis of his conduct, and he had the spirit and 
courage to conform his actions to the rules he had 
laid down. He evinced no crouching to popular 
sentiment, no disrespect to his opposers, no con- 
tempt for their regard : he shewed himself anxious 
to retain the applause of the people, provided his 
virtue would allow him; but rather than degrade 
himself by unworthy acquiescence he was pre- 
pared to resign it. His object was independence, 
the real test of freedom, and the best associate of 
virtue. What he, in his reply, maintained for him - 

CHAP. I.] 


self, he had before asserted for his country. Ire- 
land, by his means and upon his principles, had 
become independent, and upon these principles 
alone, did he wish for freedom for himself, or pur- 
sue it for others. He could not bear a doubt to 
be cast upon his own sincerity, or an insinuation 
against his honour; and, acting from these feelings, 
he would not humiliate any party, whether Eng- 
lish or Irish, by irritating jealousy or unmanly 
suspicion. The following was his reply : 



I was sorry that your Address should have been published 
before it was presented, because I do not wish to appear 
tardy to respect your opinions, or to disclose mine. 

I applauded the liberal confidence which you reposed in 
the sincerity of the British nation ; I hope she may long 
continue to deserve, and you to entertain, that just and 
necessary sentiment. 

I agree with you that the 6th of George I. was passed 
when we were depressed by the " intoxication of power, 
and weakened by intestine divisions." There was at that 
time in the stamina of the community a radical weakness ; 
we had taken precautions against our own strength and 
liberty, by the emaciating cruelty of barbarous laws, and 
we felt in our own bondage the natural returns of our own 
tyranny. Fortunately we have discovered the error; it 
was your policy, and my decided opinion, to adopt the 
Catholic body. I conceived it to be a sacred truth, and 
written as it were in the tables of Fate, that the Irish 
Protestant should never be free until the Irish Catholic 



ceased to" be a slave" By the charter of toleration those 
intestine divisions which you speak of have ceased, and 
with them the domination of Great Britain has departed. 

The Parliament of Ireland has asserted its legislative 
independency, the Parliament of Great Britain has ac- 
knowledged it, fully acknowledged it : I speak, warranted 
by the record of the proceedings, and by the almost unani- 
mous declarations of both Houses of Parliament : I speak 
the legal language and expressed opinion of the most 
eminent men of the bar, and I might add, legal personages 
still more high and authoritative. 

In this conviction, and with this authority, you will not 
suppose that I shall subscribe to the resolutions, to which 
you have lately acceded. A member of one House of Par- 
liament, and attached to the privileges of both, and to the 
Parliamentary constitution of Ireland, I do not see that 
emergency, which should induce, or warrant us to refer, 
revise and contradict a resolution of the House of Commons, 
and, under colour of fortifying the independency of our 
Parliament, supersede its authority. 

I concur with you in every personal compliment to the 
seven gentlemen who framed the report you speak of ; but 
when I differ from you, it is not surprising that I should 
have no scruple to differ from them. 

I know of no circumstance, except one, which has 
recently happened, to alarm you : the entertaining and 
deciding by the Court of King's Bench, in England, an 
Irish cause, is, no doubt, a very great infringement. You 
do not imagine that I mean to rest under it ; but I shall 
never suppose such a measure to be the act of England, 
unless her Parliament shall hesitate to do it away in a 
manner the most clear, comprehensive, and satisfactory. 

I have given you my sincere opinion ; I have explicitly 
differed from you, with a regard for the corps, and an 



affection for the men who compose it. The natural result 
of my dissent is the ceasing of my command. I do not 
resign, lest peremptory resignation should appear an act of 
unmanly offence ; in the succession of officers you have an 
opportunity to indulge the range of your disposition; 
invited to the command without solicitation, I shall render 
back the honour without the emotions of resentment, or 
the affectation of indifference. 

In the warm hours of your panegyric I made every 
allowance for a sanguine disposition ; in the present hour, 
when the same disposition may go in the other direction, I 
shall make the same allowance. 

There is a final justice in public opinion, on which I do 
not fear to stand. I am, Gentlemen, with great respect, 
Your faithful and humble servant, 

Henry Grattan. 

The case which Mr. Grattan here alludes to, 
and which had been decided by Lord Mansfield 
in the English courts, had occasioned much ap- 
prehension in Ireland ; but it appears fully ex- 
plained in the letters to Mr. Grattan. The charge 
against Lord Mansfield was not altogether well 
founded. He had formerly opposed the rights of 
Ireland ; but in this instance, he acted probably 
without any intentional hostility. The Irish cause 
was of old standing in his court, and he disposed 
of it, as a matter of course ; yet he certainly would 
have shewn a greater regard for the Constitution of 
Ireland if he had declined to entertain it. But how 
could it be supposed that he should shew any re- 
gard for the Constitution of another country, when 



[chap. I. 

he had shewn so little for that of his own ? He was 
a son of Scotland, and had been a rebel,* when 
he opposed, and became a slave, when he sup- 
ported, the administration. He possessed a fine 
understanding, but a mean disposition — was an 
able man, but not a great one — an ornamental 
speaker, and a subtle reasoner ; — with a narrow 
mind — a hard voice — no force — some persuasion 
— and a semblance of dignity — timid — vain — and 
frivolous — he was haunted by little feelings. The 
day of difficulty would have walked over him ; but 
in corrupt tranquillity he found riches and honour. 

Lord Mansfield was brought into parliament to 
oppose Lord Chatham, and fled from his antagonist 
with a whole army of figures. In his judicial 
capacity he was not without merit; and, when 
a question was between subject and subject, 
without involving any principles of slavery, (to 
which he had a partiality,) he was equitable. On 
other occasions, he felt a bias to power, stole into 
the law a number of arbitrary doctrines, and made 
war upon the trial by jury. In the case of Wilkes 
he was afraid ; and when the question of outlawry 
was argued, he spoke against it, and made an ora- 
torical display, declaring he had discovered a point 
which induced him to alter his mind,— that it had 
escaped him before, and that it led him to reverse 
the outlawry. The fact was, that the people took 

* Junius says he drank the Pretender's health upon his knees. This 
was denied, but again asserted. 

CHAP. I.] 



part with Wilkes ; Westminster Hall was crowded 
to excess, and Lord Mansfield was afraid : he was 
a timid tyrant. With perfect truth it may be said, 
that he would have been content with an imperial 
government, and have rested satisfied with being 
a Prcctor, and having the semblance of liberty. He 
ever cringed to power ; — a slave to the court, an 
enemy to the people, all his judgments leaned 
against liberty; — he never gained a point for the 
freedom of the country, and opposed many ; — his 
idea and his expression was that, " he must yield 
to the king, for that the American question was 
his hobby-horse" But it was a horse, uncle altior 
esset casus. 

The vigour of Lord Mansfield's eloquence was 
weakened by the craft of his profession, which 
begot subtlety, and by the timid disingenuousness 
of his heart, which did not permit him to throw 
out his mind with honesty ; a specious — a false — 
a pleasing— an accomplished, and a mischievous 
citizen : — 

He seemed 
For dignity composed, and high exploit; 
But all was false and hollow. 



Public sentiment in Ireland — Lord Mornington, afterwards Marquess 
Wellesley — Acquaintance with Mr. Grattan — His character — His 
letter to Mr. Grattan on the English ministry, and on Lord Mans- 
field's conduct Mr. Flood and Lord Shelburne — Mr. Fitzpatrick's 
letter to Mr. Ogle respecting the judicial supremacy of Ireland — The 
conduct of the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fox — Character of Mr. 
Ogle — His poetry — Mr. Stewart's letter to Mr. Grattan, respecting 
Lord Mansfield — Report of the debate on the Renunciation Bill in 
the English House of Commons, taken by Lord Mornington — His 
letter to Mr. Grattan — Note as to Lord Bellamont — Mr. Fitzpatrick to 
Mr. Grattan respecting the repeal of the 6th George I., and Mr. Flood 
and Lord Beauchamp's conduct- — State of parties in Ireland — Efforts 
to render the Volunteers discontented — Violence of the press. 

The rupture between Mr. Grattan and the volun- 
teers was most unfortunate for Ireland ; it filled the 
minds of the people with doubt; it sowed in the 
breast of the Irish a distrust of their staunchest 
friends; it injured the character of the nation by cre- 
ating a national quarrel about a mere quibble ; an 
argument that would have done little credit even to 
a session-court, was magnified for party purposes 
into the greatest importance, and when the bubble 
burst it was nothing; and matters, both as to con- 
stitution and security, stood after the English act 
of Renunciation (as it was called), just as before. 

In England, the effect produced was incal- 
culable; it injured Ireland severely, it shewed 



the weakness of those men, and of that public 
mind, that could suffer itself to be thus led astray, 
and gave to a cunning minister an insight into the 
mode of deceiving a people who could so com- 
pletely deceive themselves. 

Mr. Grattan felt the change in the popular feel- 
ing with much concern, not merely as regarded 
himself, but as regarded others, their character and 
that of the country ; but conscious of supporting 
the authority of Parliament, and the rights of 
Ireland, he viewed the displeasure of his fellow- 
citizens with respectful indifference ; he had done 
them too much service to be their sycophant. 
His object was the Parliamentary Constitution of 
his country. The volunteers were the means, and 
he was above any base mixture and alliance with 
the mob; he relied upon the steady interposition 
of a strenuous and respectable commonalty, and 
calmly resigned himself to the loss of popularity. 
To have been instrumental in recovering the rights 
of his country was his peculiar good fortune; to 
have lost the affections of some part of his fellow- 
citizens was a common calamity — one that is to 
be explained in the history of every free people, 
and that is implanted in the nature of man. 

Nor is Mr. Grattan's conduct to be judged from 
the publications of the day, or the Resolutions of the 
Volunteers, or what a few angry men said of him. 
It is to be collected from the opinion of other na- 
tions, and calmer times, and the impartial collected 




sense of history — that great umpire, History ; — 
it is that which condemns to infamy, or conveys 
to fame ; which lives, when nations, like the indi- 
viduals, are dead, and adjudges every transaction 
without frantic praise or frantic censure. The 
character of Mr. Grattan did not depend on the 
breath of the loudest of his fellow-citizens, any 
more than his salvation ; both depended on him- 
self, and were independent of them. Here he 
could stand against a legion, and a legion could 
not stand against him : their words were as chaff 
before the wind; their fury, the anger of a child. 
Fame is not the breath of a populace, nor the 
shout of a mob, but the gift of Providence to great 
actions ; and the tongues of men are involuntary or- 
gans of a superior breath, and a posthumous justice. 

Mr. Grattan's case was not singular ; and 
Ireland is not the only nation that afforded such 
an example of wavering virtue and popular muta- 
bility. What has happened in other countries, 
or other times, ancient as well as modern ? See 
men first idolized for their virtues — then banished 
—and then established in the opinion of the world. 
See Fame sitting on the tombs of martyrs, whom 
their fellow-countrymen, in a gust of popular 
frenzy, have murdered. The mixed forms of the 
British Constitution gave a personal security, as 
well as a political strength against sudden im- 
pulses, and made it not capital for a patriot to save 
his country. But if the Athenian government hadac- 




companied the popular frenzy of the day, and been 
established in Ireland, Mr. Grattan would, perhaps, 
have been forced to go to America, and have be- 
held God in a greater instance of his power ; but 
living in a mixed government, he found it other- 
wise, and was indebted perhaps to the Consti- 
tution he helped to restore, not only for his for- 
tune but for his protection;* and if he lost the con- 
fidence of any portion of his fellow-citizens, it may 
be said, that they were not tired of him until they 
had become tired of the Constitution, and till at 
their meetings, they resolved it to be an intolerable 
grievance, t and shewed nearly as much impatience 
of liberty as before they had of bondage. 

But this is not a singular^ case: nations, like 
individuals, require long experience before they 
acquire wisdom. In England, Charles I. was 
beheaded because he invaded the liberties of the 
people ; and Charles II. was restored without a 
single stipulation on their behalf. 

The decision of Lord Mansfield, however, ex- 
cited considerable apprehension in Mr. Grattan's 
mind, as appears from his reply to the address 
before mentioned ; and it induced an early friend 
of his and a sincere admirer to write to him on the 
subject. This was Lord Mornington, (afterwards 
Marquess Wellesley,) the celebrated conqueror of 
India. He was at this time a member of the 

* He was shortly after waylaid by a mob. 

t Meetings and Resolutions of the Delegates to hold a convention in 
1783. 3 



Irish House of Lords; he had taken part with the 
people, and was chosen Colonel of the Trim Vo- 
lunteers, in the county of Meath, in 1782. He be- 
longed to a singular family ;* and he was a man of 
considerable talents, vast ideas, princely habits, and 
daring enterprise. He was not fond of much trouble, 
but he was able to guide the helm of the state in 
India, and ruled there with unlimited dominion. 

The Marquess Wellesley was a man of taste and 
literature, and an excellent classical scholar ; his 
poetic compositions, and his Latin elegiacs, even 
to his latest days, were chaste, elegant and correct. 
His eloquence was fervid and impassioned; he was 
a good speaker, and was possessed of considerable 
powers of oratory ; his manner was rather theatri- 
cal, full of fire, displaying a latent and rapid 
intellect, and a vigorous mind. In a word, he 
was so clever a man as to be almost a great one. 

His celebrated speech in favour of the war against 
France in 1794 lasted many hours ; it fills two hun- 
dred columns of Hansard's Debates, and procured 
for him, in 1799, the government of India. But he 
there acted upon the reverse of Lord Cornwallis's 
policy, and in this, many thought he was mistaken ; 
however, he extended the sway of British arms, and 
gratified the pride and vain-glory of England — 
overturned thrones and dominions, empires and 
principalities, and astonished the East by the 
boldness of his designs, the rapidity and brilliancy 

* They raised themselves to four British peerages — Marquess Welles- 
ley, Lord Maryborough, Lord Cowley, and the Duke of Wellington. 



of his achievements, and the magic splendour of 
his establishments.* Although the principles 
taught in India are not well suited to a free state, 
yet when Viceroy in Ireland in 1822, he showed 
himself a friend to liberty; but he was thwarted by 
subordinates, assailed by violence, overwhelmed 
with abuse, and impeded in the praiseworthy 
efforts he made to extend equal rights and 
equal protection to all classes of the popula- 
tion of Ireland. The circumstance which added 
to his popularity with one party, most unjustly 
and unfortunately increased the hostility of the 
other. He had married a person distinguished 
for her beauty, her purity of mind, and her 
noble disposition. She was grand-daughter to 
the celebrated American Patriot, Carrol, of 
Carolton ; whose name is affixed to the De- 
claration of Independence, and who, when signing 
that celebrated document, at the hazard of life and 
fortune, as there were others of that name, pur- 
posely subjoined his place of abode, regardless 
of the consequences, after embarking in the cause 
of freedom. This lady was a Roman Catholic; 
and hence arose much of the violent and intem- 
perate proceedings of the party opposed to that 
religion. But Lord Wellesley proceeded firmly in 
his course ; and to him, in a great degree, is Ire- 

* An American gentleman, who bad dined at his palace at Calcutta, 
gave me an account of its grandeur and brilliancy equal to any of the 
descriptions in the fairy tales. 




[chap. II. 

land indebted, for the discouragement shewn to 
the Orange-party, and the successful opposition to 
religious bigotry and intolerance. 


Albemarle Street, Dec. 9th, 1782. 
My Dear Grattan, 
I seize the first opportunity of offering my sincere congra- 
tulations to you upon the recovery of Miss Fitzgerald, 
which I heard of last night, from 0'Beirne. # I have felt 
very anxiously, both for your situation and hers ; and, 
believe me, nobody rejoices more thoroughly in the prospect 
of happiness, which the return of her health has opened to 
you both. 

I sent a hasty account of the first day's business in the 
House of Commons to Ogle ; the debate was very uninter- 
esting, and did not deserve to be particularized: since that 
day nothing has passed of any consequence. The report 
of a peace gains ground every hour ; this morning it was 
believed to have been signed, and that Gibraltar was ceded 
for Porto Rico and Minorca. The cession of Gibraltar 
will be an unpopular measure ; it was but hinted on the 
first day, and the very suggestion threw the House into a 
ferment. The language generally held is, that our suc- 
cesses in the last campaign entitle us to an honourable 
peace ; and that if France should be unreasonable in her 
demands, the war must be prosecuted with vigour. The 
situation of the Ministry seems to be very singular ; the 
number of their devoted friends is certainly inferior to 
that of their declared enemies ; but their enemies are 
divided. Lord North's party is certainly the strongest in 
the House; but Lord North is equally averse to Shelburne, 
* Afterwards Bishop of Meath, — first a friend, then a foe to freedom. 



and to Fox. Lord North's language is, that he will 
support Government, as far as may be necessary for the 
strengthening of the nation's hands against foreign enemies; 
but that he will suffer no alterations in the constitution. 
You can easily conceive what a scene of confusion the 
contest between these three parties must afford — Fox, 
Lord North, and Pitt, equally, and by turns, opposed to 
each other. As yet there has been no division in Parlia- 
ment, so that I cannot with any accuracy state the numbers 
of these partie>. 

Not one word has been said in debate upon Irish affairs; 
the subject is touched, as you will see, very cautiously, 
both in the Speech and addresses. 

I have seen both the Duke of Portland and Fitzpatrick, 
and have from both received the most firm assurance of 
their intention, and that of Mr. Fox, to stand by the 
settlement of last Session. I was just proceeding to 
mention the matter relative to Lord Mansfield, and the 
Irish writ of Error, when I received your obliging letter. 
I will give you, as well as I am able, under a total 
ignorance of law in general, the state of that business, as it 
has been represented to me. 

The case was, as I understand, entered for hearing 
before the time of the operation of the Irish Act, and was 
by some accident delayed until this last term. The reason 
why it was not dismissed when it came before the Court, 
subsequently to the operation of the Irish Act, was, that 
the time had elapsed for pleading against the competency 
of the Court, as pleadings had already begun upon the 
matter of the suit. The legal expression, I am told, 
is, that as the parties had already pleaded in chief, 
they could not afterwards plead to the writ. Now, at 
the time the cause was entered, the Irish Act had not 
passed ; and therefore the objection to the competency of 

D 2 



the Court did not exist at the only period when it could 
have been admitted, consistently with the practice of the 
Court. I do not know whether I have made myself 
understood ; but what I have stated comprehends all that 
I have been able to collect upon the subject. I should 
observe, that Lord Mansfield himself gave no sort of 
reason for his decision, but decided as a matter of course, 
without taking any notice of the particularity of the case. 
The argument I have alluded to was never touched by 
him. I think his silence alarming ; and I do not think the 
reasoning I have stated at all satisfactory. 

Dec. lltfa 

I conversed last night with Mr. Fox on this subject ; he 
told me that, when he was framing the Repeal of the 6th 
George I., he expressed doubts to the Attorney # and 
Solicitor General here, whether that act would extinguish 
the appeal, by writ of error, to the King's Bench of Great 
Britain, unless there was an express clause for the purpose. 
He told me that both those great lawyers assured him, that 
the simple repeal would utterly terminate all jurisdiction of 
the English courts of justice over Ireland. He seems now 
to think something further necessary, and to apprehend 
that Lord Mansfield could not have done otherwise than 
he did. I hold with you, that Lord Mansfield should have 
attended to the Irish law, which, in reason, ought to be 
paramount to the little forms of his Court. I should be 
very glad to know from you what remedy you propose for 
the extirpation of these sort of questions. I feel strongly 
the necessity of some further procedure ; perhaps a bill 
here, declaring that the judicature is confined to Ireland, 
and forbidding the interference of the English Courts. 
You must see, — and I think every man of common dis- 
* Lloyd Kenyon, afterwards Lord Kenyon, and John Lee. 



cernment in Ireland must see, — that if Mr, Flood's Bill ot' 
Rights had passed in Ireland, and his renunciation in 
Great Britain, this very case would still have happened ; 
so that Mr. Flood has no reason to plume himself upon it, 
as an example confirming his doctrine. 

I am just come from the House of Commons, where a 
hundred and ten thousand men have been voted for the 
navy this year ; peace seems every hour to become more 
doubtful. Lord Shelburne cannot stand ; every body seems 
to be of this opinion ; but who will succeed, or what is to 
be the system, is dubious ; the prevalent opinion is, that 
Lord North and the old party will return. I have written 
this letter at various times and in much hurry, and have 
many excuses to make for its length and incoherency. 

Yours sincerely, 

Morn ington. 

Henry Grattan, Esq. 
Dawson Street, Dublin. 

The following letter is of importance, as it 
explains the proceedings then in agitation in Eng- 
land, and the opinions of the men of that day. 


London, Dec. 20th, 1782. 

Dear Sir, 

A short conversation took place yesterday, in our House of 
Commons, relative to Ireland, which, I observe, as is 
usually the case, is totally misrepresented in all the public 
papers, (at least, those which I have seen,) and which, if 
understood (in the manner there described), on your side of 
the water, will probably produce exactly the contrary effect 
from what was intended by those who brought it forward. 

38 THE prAT • — ^uiilCATURE. [CHAP. II. 

It is therefore necessary to acquaint you, both with the 
conversation itself, and with the reasons which induced 
me to give occasion to it. As I observed, from Mr. Grattan's 
answer to the Dublin Corps, # — the manly spirit of which I 
most sincerely admire, and think worthy of his character, 
— that he considered the late decree in the Court of King's 
Bench, in England, an infringement of that compact 
between the kingdoms, for the religious observance of 
which, the Duke of Portland must ever consider himself 
as a guarantee ; and as I was certain that the disciples of 
Lord Beauchamp and Mr. Flood would eagerly take ad- 
vantage of the circumstance, to increase the alarm they 
have been endeavouring to spread through Ireland ; it 
occurred to me, that nothing could be more satisfactory to 
you and Mr. Grattan, than to obtain from the present 
Ministers a declaration of their readiness to concur in any 
measure which might have been omitted, and which now 
might be found essential to the complete restoration of the 
judicial supremacy of Ireland, before the recess of Parlia- 
ment, which is about to take place, would, in all probabi- 
lity, tend very much to remove the uneasiness which I 
knew had arisen in the minds of many of the most respect- 
able men, and the sincerest friends and well-wishers to the 
peace and harmony of both kingdoms. I thought such a 
declaration would be peculiarly agreeable to Mr. Grattan ; 
and at the same time I desired Mr. Fox to take this oppor- 
tunity of publicly declaring his sentiments upon the trans- 
actions of the late Sessions. I am glad to observe that 
the papers have, in some degree, more faithfully repre- 
sented what he said, than what fell from me — at least, as 
far as his opinion is expressed upon the subject of the 
repeal of the 6th George I. 

I must do the present Ministers the justice to say, that 
* Dublin Independent Volunteers, ante, p. 23. 



there appeared no disinclination whatever, on their part, to 
do whatever might be found requisite in the business, 
though they did not seem prepared to answer whether any 
further measure might be necessary. In a conversa- 
tion I had afterwards with the Attorney General,* he 
appeared to me to be of an opinion that the matter is suf- 
ficiently secure, since all appeals to the Court of King's 
Bench, in England, must be certified over by the Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland, which of course he 
is restrained from doing by the Irish Act for regulating 
appeals. Consequently, unless an Irish judge shall act in 
open defiance of the Irish law, the case can never happen. 
At the same time, however, he added, that if it was desired, 
he saw no objection to an English Act to deprive the 
English Court of the jurisdiction complained of. I was 
informed since, that Lord Beauchamp expressed some 
dissatisfaction at my having mentioned the subject, in his 
absence from the house; and, as I find, he has given notice 
of his intention to bring forward two propositions, relative 
to Ireland, after the holidays, — I suppose one of them 
relative to this business, which, probably, he wished 
to have engrossed to himself, as a monopolist of Irish 
popularity. As I thought, however, that an early men- 
tion of it, and a discrimination of the matter in 
question, which relates solely to the judicial, from the 
legislative independence, might be agreeable to those 
whom I consider as more really and sincerely attached to 
the interests of Ireland than his Lordship, I am very 
glad to have drawn from Ministers so much as the con- 
versation of yesterday gave rise to, with respect to the 
propositions he means to bring forward, as it is easy, from 
his pamphlet, to conjecture their tendency. I should be 
very happy to learn the sentiments of you and yonr friends, 
* Mr., afterwards Lord Kenyon. 



[chap. II. 

In my own opinion, T am clear, that both kingdoms shall 
adhere strictly to the letter and the spirit of last year's 
adjustment. I need not assure you how much the Duke 
of Portland feels interested in co-operating, in this country, 
with that set of men upon whose abilities and integrity 
he placed so just a reliance during his Government in 

I must now, my dear Sir, beg you to accept my sincere 
apologies for my idleness, in not having written to you 
earlier. The truth is, that I am one of the worst of corre- 
spondents, and I believe I am not too sanguine in hoping 
that you have never attributed my silence to any other 
cause. Will you be good enough to convey the same apo- 
logy to General Burgoyne, # to whom I also owe it, having 
promised to write to him, and having, I am ashamed to 
confess, never fulfilled my engagements. Pray present my 
most sincere congratulations to Grattan upon his marriage 
to one of the prettiest women I saw in Dublin ; he deserves 
all happiness, and I most sincerely wish he may enjoy it. 
Remember me to Forbes and Doyle ;f I am sorry not yet to 
have read their names in the Gazette ; and pray tell Sheridan J 
I am in daily expectation of his promised answer to my 
letter. With regard to our politics here, the hope of peace 
is vanished, and the universal want of confidence which 
prevails in our own minister, makes it probable that he 
cannot long retain his situation. He has not strength to 
carry a question in the House of Commons without the 
assistance of Lord North, who has hitherto supported him 
with such hostility, as must make his situation unpleasant, 
and to the last degree precarious beside. My dear Sir, 
believe me, with the greatest truth, your most sincere and 
affectionate humble servant, 

R. Fitzpatrick. 

* Commander-in-chief in Ireland. 

f Afterwards General Sir John Doyle. 

% Charles Francis, brother to Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 

CHAP. Il ] 



Mr. George Ogle was a character deserving of 
notice. He was an accomplished individual, pos- 
sessed of wit and taste, a lively imagination, and 
a poetic mind. His voice was pleasing, and his 
manner full of energy and warmth ; but his 
speeches were more figurative than solid : his 
qualities were social and urbane, and in mind, 
manner, and figure, he was a perfect gentleman. 
In the county where he resided, he was one of 
the most popular characters ; he enjoyed a large 
fortune, and his style of living was profuse and 
splendid. He possessed public spirit, great 
courage, and was not without a sense of liberty ; 
— he was the first in his county who applied to 
government for arms for the Volunteers. But on 
the Catholic subject, his mind was narrow ; he 
considered it as a mere question of power, and 
the Protestants being the lesser number, he 
thought that they should look only to themselves, 
and keep in their hands the power as well as the 
property. But at the Union he rose superior to 
the trammels that others submitted to ; he there 
shewed the independence of his mind, and as- 
serted his superior disposition. 

The idea of trying the question with Great 
Britain on the English act of William III. as to 
the right of Ireland to export her woollens, ori- 
ginated with Mr. Ogle. He entered on this 
bold contest, fearless of the consequence, and 
heedless of the expence. In concert with Mr. 



[chap. II. 

Horan, a Dublin merchant, he freighted at his 
own cost, (not an inconsiderable one), a vessel 
with Irish goods, and entered them at the Custom 
House. The commissioners of revenue repre- 
sented the circumstance to the Lord Lieutenant, 
(as stated in the second volume) ; the Ministers 
in both kingdoms took the alarm, and became at 
length sensible of the injustice inflicted on Ire- 
land. They were led to this conclusion, no doubt, 
by the adverse majorities in the Irish House of 
Commons, and by 40,000 armed Volunteers. 
The country reaped the benefit of the proceeding, 
and George Ogle deserves the credit. 

He was singular and wayward in his temper; 
and having got a pension for his family,* he turned 
suddenly on his friend, and quarrelled with Mr. 
Forbes when he brought in his pension bill. 

He discovered an early taste for poetry, and 
was said to have been the author of " The Hermit 
of Killarney." When young, he wrote the 
" Banks of Banna," (a neighbouring stream in the 
county ;) but the prettiest of his compositions was 
the celebrated ballad of " Molly Asthore," which 
Mr. Grattan, who was very fond of music, parti- 
cularly admired. It was prettily harmonised, 
became very popular in all societies, and was the 
rage among the vocalists of the day. It was erro- 
neously said to have been composed in honour 

* 800/. per annum to Elizabeth Ogle, and 200/. per annum to Jane 
Moore, — pensions during pleasure, from August, 1785. 




of Miss Moore, whom he afterwards married ; 
it was founded on a melancholy circumstance 
which occurred in the county of Wexford, where 
Mr. Ogle resided. Henry Colclough and Mary 
Devereux had formed a strong attachment to 
each other ; but their families (different in reli- 
gion) were in a state of hostility as great as that 
of the Montagues and Capulets. Accordingly 
the lady was shut up, and the gentleman closely 
watched, all intercourse prohibited, and it was 
reported to him that she had proved faithless. 
He died of grief, and she drowned herself in 
despair. On this subject Mr. Ogle composed the 
poem, but has taken the ungallant licence of re- 
presenting the lady as faithless, which, to the 
credit of the sex, was not the case.* 

* We subjoin a copy of the song : — 

As down by Banna's banks I stray'd, one evening in May, 
The little birds with blithest notes made vocal every spray; 
They sung their little notes of love, they sung them o'er and o'er. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, ma colleen oge, ma Molly asthore ! f 

The daisies pied, and all the sweets the dawn of nature yields, 
The primrose pale, and violet blue, lay scattered o'er the fields ; 
Such fragrance in the bosom lies of her whom I adore. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

I laid me down upon a bank, bewailing my sad fate, 

That doomed me thus the slave of love, and cruel Molly's hate ; 

How can she break the honest heart that wears her in its core? 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

t The translation of these Irish words is, — 
"Oh love of my heart — my dear young girl — my darling Molly." 


mr. grattan\s proceedings, [chap. II. 

In pursuance of the statement made by Mr. 
Grattan in his answer to the Dublin Corps on the 
subject of Lord Mansfield's conduct, he wrote to 
his friends in England, and received this reply 

You said you loved me, Molly dear, — ah, why did I believe '( 

Yet who could think such tender words were meant but to deceive ; 

That love was all I asked on earth, — nay, Heaven could give no more. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Oh ! had I all the flocks that graze on yonder yellow hill, 

Or low'd for me the numerous herds that yon green pasture fill, 

With her I love I'd gladly share my kine and fleecy store. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Two turtle-doves above my head sat courting on a bough ; 

I envied them their happiness, to see them bill and coo ; 

Such fondness once for me she shew'd ; but, now, alas ! 'tis o'er. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Then, fare thee well, my Molly dear ! thy loss I e'er shall mourn; 
While life remains in Strephon's heart, 'twill beat for thee alone : 
Though thou art false, may Heaven on thee its choicest blessings pour. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Another, said to be composed on the occasion, was " The Banks of 

Shepherds, I have lost my love ; 

Have you seen my Anna ? 
She's the pride of hill and grove, 

Along the banks of Banna. 

I, for her, my home forsook, 

Near my misty mountain, 
Left my flocks, my herds, my crook 

My green wood's shade and fountain. 

Never shall I see them more 

Until her returning ; 
All the joys of life are o'er, 

And pleasure turned to mourning. 




from Mr. Stewart, the individual who had se- 
conded his motion on the subject of Irish inde- 
pendence in 1780, and, strange to say, the father 
of the man who afterwards bartered that inde- 
pendent Legislature in 1800. Mr. Stewart evinced 
his anxiety on the subject, and having communi- 
cated with Lord Camden, gave the following 
explanation of the case. His censure of those 
who sought to disturb the settlement of the ques- 
tion was just and proper, and the opinion given by 
Lord Camden was of great value. 


Camden Place, January 12, 1783. 

Dear Grattan, 
I received your letter yesterday, and having conversed with 
Lord Camden respecting the procedure in the House of 
Lords, in lately calling for counsel in an Irish cause men- 
tioned in your letter, I find, from his explanation of this 
business, the thing is strangely understood in Ireland ; for 
he is clearly of opinion, that what was done is no infringe- 
ment of the final judicature restored to the Irish House of 
Lords by the repeal of the 6th of George I. and our own 
statute of last session ; nor could the English House, with 
any propriety, have acted otherwise ; for the cause having 
been entered for hearing long before the passing of these 
acts, any proceedings of theirs thereon could never possibly 
clash with the operation and efficacy of these new laws ; 
and had the House pronounced judgment upon the record, 
it must have been, of course, deemed a decision given as of 
an antecedent term ; and upon that construction alone could 
its validity be contended for and maintained. This is 



considered as so indisputable a case here, that had the 
British Houses of Parliament passed an act similar to ours 
respecting the final judicature, it would not have been con- 
strued by the Lords as precluding them from disposing 
of this cause ; nor could they have acted otherwise, the 
attorneys not attending, as last year, when some Irish 
causes were withdrawn, in consequence of a little private 
communing with the agents. But there being no appear- 
ance for the parties, and the cause called in course as it 
stood on the list, without the House in general having any 
special notification, whether Irish or not ; till the cause 
comes to be opened by counsel they are not supposed to be 
possessed of the nature of it ; and when they are fully 
made acquainted with that, or an exception is taken to 
their jurisdiction, as coram nonjudice, it is surely full time 
enough to dismiss the cause. So that you see from this 
statement of the matter, the Irish have been a little too 
hasty in taking umbrage at what has happened in the 
House of Lords, as well as the King's Bench— -an error I 
am not surprised the ignorant part of the nation should 
have fallen into, but do not think so very excusable in the 
Lawyers'" Corps. I hope, however, something will be imme- 
diately done in the British Parliament that will set men's 
minds at rest on this subject ; and that our countrymen will 
soon see the folly of listening to those who are only want- 
ing to fish in troubled waters; and turn their minds in 
earnest to the making good use of the advantages we have 
got, and then I have no doubt but we shall soon feel we 
have abundant reason to be perfectly satisfied and con- 
tented. I am, dear Grattan, with esteem, 

Yours sincerely, 

Robert Stewart. 

The history of the Renunciation Bill was sent 
to Mr. Grattan by Lord Mornington, who took a 




note of the debate, which occurred in the English 
House of Commons ; it appears that the part which 
was taken in this new agitation was strongly cen- 
sured by Mr. Fox and his friends ; they did not 
originate the Bill: it was proposed by Mr. Flood, 
with Lord Temple's approval ; but as it was sup- 
posed to give satisfaction in Ireland, they gave it 
their support. 


22 Jan. 1783. 

Mr. Townshend said, that in pursuance of the notice 
which had been given by Mr. Grenville before the holi- 
days, he rose to submit to the House, a proposition relative 
to Ireland; that he should not say much at that time, as 
he did not mean to propose a bill, but merely to move for 
leave to bring one in at a future day. He then mentioned 
the doubts which had arisen in Ireland, he would not say 
how, and had been propagated he would not say how — re- 
lative to the construction of the repeal of 6 Geo. I. ; — said 
that those doubts had been increased by a late decision in 
the King's Bench of Great Britain ; which decision, how- 
ever, he said, he understood from the best information, the 
court was bound to give. He then disclaimed all inten- 
tion of reflecting on the late settlement with Ireland, and 
made the following motion: "That leave be given to 
bring in a bill for removing and preventing all doubts 
which have arisen, or may arise, concerning the exclusive 
rights of the parliament, and courts of Ireland, in matters 
of legislation and judicature, and for preventing any writ 




of error, or appeal, from any of his Majesty's courts in 
Ireland, from being received, heard, or adjusted in any of 
his Majesty's courts in this kingdom ; and that Mr. 
Townshend, General Conway, Mr. Pitt, Mr. W. Gren- 
ville, and the Attorney and Solicitor-General, do bring in 
the same." 

Mr. Wm. Grenville* seconded the motion ; expressed 
his satisfaction at seeing this business brought forward 
by Government so early, and in so comprehensive and 
satisfactory a manner ; disavowed, in the strongest terms, 
all intention of reflecting or acquiescing in any reflection 
on those who conducted the settlement of last year in 
England, and in Ireland ; spoke highly of the Duke of 
Portland's friends in Ireland ; stated, that they had 
treated with Government here, on no other principle than 
a full and unequivocal abandonment of every idea of legis- 
lature and judicature on the part of Great Britain over 
Ireland ; stated, that he held the repeal to be such an 
abandonment; that, however, doubts, groundless in his 
opinion, having arisen on the subject in Ireland, and those 
doubts having been confirmed by a late decision in the 
King's Bench, and that decision having rendered it neces- 
sary that Great Britain should speak upon the subject of 
Ireland again, he thought it for the magnanimity, dignity, 
and honour of Parliament, to speak in such a manner as 
should consign the question to eternal rest, and should 
satisfy all possible doubt, and would leave upon the 
records of parliament a lasting monument of the good 
faith of Great Britain towards Ireland. He said he wished 
to shew Ireland, that no change of situation could shake 
British sincerity, and that, what he, as an uninformed 
man hoped, and trusted, and believed, was a near prospect 

* He had been Secretary in Ireland, and was afterwards Lord 




of peace, did not alter the sentiments of Great Britain 
with respect to Ireland; but that she was ready to ex- 
plain at this moment, with as much liberality as she had 
conceded last year. 

Mr. Eden did not express any intention of opposing the 
motion ; talked of the repeal as a sufficient security to 
Ireland ; said that, however, great authorities having in- 
stilled a contrary opinion in Ireland, something further 
might be necessary ; spoke most respectfully of Flood's 
abilities, and the Recorder's integrity, and David Walshe's 
accuracy and precision ; concluded with declaring that he 
thought there were several matters which required ad- 
justment between the two countries; referred to the reso- 
lution of the British Parliament, and which says, " that 
a solid basis of permanent connexion," &c. &c. ; and said 
that that resolution, in his interpretation, opened the 
ground of a general act of settlement, which he thought a 
necessary measure for the peace of both countries. 

Lord Beauchamp said, as far as he could understand 
the intentions of Government, he approved of them, 
believing them to mean an explicit dereliction, in terms, of 
all right of legislation and judicature. He then entered 
into a confused sort of detail of Flood's arguments against 
simple repeal ; and said he wished to have the business 
done, so that it could not be undone. 

Colonel Fitzpatrick, who spoke before Lord Beauchamp, 
and then replied to him, said he would not oppose the 
bill, but feared its object would not be answered if it pro- 
posed to prevent jealousy and discontent ; that whilst 
there was a man in Ireland whose importance subsisted 
upon the ferment of the country, grounds of jealousy 
and discontent would be found ; spoke of the repeal as a 
measure perfect in itself ; wished the present bill had 





referred only to the decision in the King's Bench, without 
touching the matter of legislature; seemed to consider 
the clamour prevailing in Ireland as an inadequate ground 
for the deliberation of the British Parliament, after the 
Irish Parliament had expressed satisfaction in the repeal, 
and had not yet retracted such expression ; intimated that 
this bill was a sort of impeachment of the sufficiency of 
the repeal. He spoke repeatedly, in the warmest terms, of 
the honour, ability, and integrity of those in Ireland, who 
managed the settlement. Lord Beauchamp and he 
sparred a good deal ; but this you will hear of in the 
newspapers, and it is not important to us ; so I pass 
it over. 

Mr. Grenville rose again to disavow, in the strongest 
manner, all intention of impeaching the repeal, and re- 
ferred to the opinion which he had stated on a former 
day, — " That he held the repeal to be a complete aban- 
donment of every idea of legislation, or judicature over 
Ireland," and that the present motion did not in the least 
contradict that opinion. 

Mr. Fox. — Knowing the delicacy of the subject before the 
House, he would say but a few words, as he thought it 
essential to both countries that Ireland should be as seldom 
brought into debate as possible. He said that he not only 
held the repeal to be a complete renunciation in its nature 
and intentions, but that he knew that it did give full, per- 
fect, and general satisfaction to the people of Ireland, at 
the time it passed ; — that he was not one who held the doc- 
trine that the people could speak through no other organ 
than Parliament ; but that when he considered the cir- 
cumstances under which the addresses of the Irish Parlia- 
ment had passed, the movers of them, the unanimity of the 
Houses, he did not hesitate to pronounce that those ad- 
dresses did speak the sense of the people as well as of the 


Parliament of Ireland. After such a declaration of the 
Parliament on the part of themselves and the people of 
Ireland, expressing perfect satisfaction in the repeal, and 
assuring his Majesty that no constitutional question re- 
mained to interrupt the harmony between the two coun- 
tries, would it not be strange if the Parliament of Great 
Britain should say to the Parliament of Ireland, You know 
nothing of the sense of your own people ; you say they are 
satisfied ; we are better informed than you, and know they 
are not; though you talk of uninterrupted and permanent 
harmony, we know that discord prevails amongst you? 
He said that he considered the bill passed in Ireland for the 
extinction of the writ of error as sufficient for that purpose, 
inasmuch as it rendered all judgments given here nugatory 
in Ireland ; therefore for Ireland it was effectual. For 
England perhaps the bill now proposed might be useful, as 
it would save her from the undignified situation of giving 
nugatory decisions in her courts of justice. With respect 
to the preamble, which touches the matter of legislation, 
that per haps might be proper also; but he much feared it 
would not answer, believing, upon the ground taken by 
Filzpatrick, that doubts would be made and exceptions 
taken, though a thousand bills of explanation were passed, 
as long as men had an inclination to quarrel, or an interest 
in confusion. With respect to what Lord Beauchamp had 
said, of doing the thing in a way not to be undone, he said 
the claim might be revived as well after renunciation as 
repeal — that the matter to be wished was to produce a con- 
fidence in Ireland — that the faith of Great Britain had 
been fairly plighted by the repeal, and that measure he 
believed did produce such a confidence at the time it 
passed. How that confidence had since been shaken, he 
would not say. He then spoke highly of the Duke of 
Portland's friends ; said they were not only men of the 

E 2 



first talents, but of the highest honour ; feared this bill was 
an abandonment of them ; that it was a desertion of those 
who had acted upon real principle, and an adoption of 
those whose views were merely to confound, and to gain by 
a trick a popularity they had justly forfeited ; said the 
Duke of Portland's friends were people with whom the 
country could treat with safety. Fox said a great deal 
more in praise of us, and ended without any specific de- 
claration that I could collect, of support or opposition to 
the bill. 

Mr. W. Grenville in the most strong terms declared, that 
he had not said anything which could in any way be con- 
strued into an intention of deserting us or our principles, 
saying that Mr. Fox had justly described us, and that he 
knew us to be men with whom Great Britain might at any 
time safely treat. 

Mr. Pitt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said, he was happy 
to find, that notwithstanding the conversation rather than de- 
bate which had taken place rather superfluously, the House 
unanimously agreed in the great object of the motion. He 
said that he trusted it would be found, that the persons who 
held the government in England and Ireland were not less 
disposed to adopt every measure calculated to merit the con- 
fidence of both countries, than Mr. Fox's friends had been. 

Mr. Percival and Mr. M 'Donald spoke, but were not 

The motion passed without a division. I forgot to say 
that Mr. Grenville, in reply to Mr. Fox, quoted an expres- 
sion of yours, in one of your answers to a volunteer address. 
He said, that so far from impeaching any of the Duke of 
Portland's friends by this bill, all that was intended was, 
as had been publicly expressed by one of them, that Great 
Britain, being obliged to speak again upon the Irish subject, 
should speak sincerely and openly. 



I have left out much of Fox's speech, but have mentioned 
the most material parts. — Ever yours, 


Fox talked much of some end being put to the business ; 
that there must be finality somewhere, and seemed to think 
that this bill would open the matter again. 


The part that Lord Mornington states, as omit- 
ted in Mr. Fox's speech, was pretty nearly as 
follows : its expressions are too remarkable to be 
passed over ; they will be found to apply to other 
political proceedings besides those in question. 

He said if ever the public voice spoke, it must 
surely have been then, when the whole repre- 
sentative body of the nation, (I wish for the 
honour of the two Dissentients,* I could say,) to a 
man, approved of what he did. What would the 
sons of faction, with all their pretended patri- 
otism, have more ? Can they be ignorant, that 
confidence is the very basis of all compacts of the 
nature of that in question ? Can they be igno- 
rant, that if we were not honest in what we have 
done, no future act will purge us of our knavery ? 
These demagogues are not so weak as to be igno- 
rant, that Parliament will not bind that nation 
that honour cannot. Crafty and turbulent, these 
men would get a name by depreciating the labours 

* Mr.Walsh and Sir Samuel Bradstreet, (the recorder) ; the two tellers 
against 211 in the debate of the 27th of May, 1782, on the address, pro- 
posed by Mr. Grattan, seconded by Mr. Brownlow. 


of the friends of their country. No measure 
under heaven would satisfy them, if the measure 
did not originate with them. Two and two could 
hot possibly make four, unless they had the 
casting up the sum. Envious of the laurels of 
their fellow-citizens, they would see their country 
steeped in blood, for the chance of stripping the 
patriotic brow. It required the confidence of the 
people to do what has already been done for Ire-f 
land ; a confidence those who are now so cla- 
morous had a very little share of, when that 
important act took place, of which they are now 
so blustering in their censures. 


Jan. 24th, 1783. 

My Dear Grattan, 
I sent you a hurried account of the conversation on the 
22nd, by the King's messenger, who carried the dispatch 
to the Castle ; I think the business wears a favourable 
appearance, as there was not a negative voice on the 
motion. Whether I have in my hurry mis-stated any part 
of the conversation, I know not ; Fitzpatrick's speech was 
of that nature to be liable to misconstruction ; he objected 
to a part of the motion, upon the idea of its impeaching 
the Repeal ; but he was decidedly of opinion that some- 
thing was necessary to be done with respect to the Writ of 
Error. In Ireland this may be construed into an absolute 
refusal of any further satisfaction. I saw Fitzpatrick, 
according to your desire, before the 22nd, and signified to 
him my wish that he would support the bill, which you 



and our friends in Ireland, had framed.* I understood 
from him, that he meant to do so; but you know that the 
bill has since undergone alterations. I do not, however, 
believe, from what I can gather, that Fitzpatrick means 
absolute opposition to the bill ; I rather think his intention 
is solely to do ample justice to your settlement, and to 
shew his firmness. This he has done already ; and unless 
you disapprove the present bill, I am inclined to think he 
will stop here. Nothing could be more handsome than 
Fox's speech towards us; he abused Flood most bitterly, 
to the great edification of the Earl of Bellamont, who was 
under the gallery. By-the-bye, his Lordship now says 
" that Ireland, which lately was governed by a sub- 
delegated aristocracy, and a modelled faction, is at present 
governed by a Triumvirate, namely, Harry Flood, Lord 
Beauchamp, and another person, whom his modesty will 
not permit him to name."f 

* This was not brought into Parliament; it regarded merely Writs of 

f This was a whimsical and irregular character, possessing a malicious 
disposition to mischief, half comedy, half tragedy, pretending to be 
jocular, but at bottom false and hollow. In his dealings between man 
and man he used with great gravity to declare that there was a custom 
in his family never to show their title deeds, and that he would not be 
the one to break through it. He possessed the parade of courage, and 
acted as a friend to Mr. Flood in his correspondence with the Duke of 
Chandos, respecting the borough of Winchester: but when the matter 
assumed a serious aspect, he declined further interference, although he 
considered his friend in the right, and assigned over the care of his 
honour to Sir Lawrence Parsons. His interview with the Marquess of 
Buckingham was rather comical : — he abruptly paid him a visit, and 
told him that when he had been in Ireland as Lord Lieutenant, he had 
promised him a situation, and that he must pay off the debt. The 
Marquess replied that it was not possible he could have made the 
promise, as he was not able to keep those which he had made to his own 
friends. Loid Bellamont adroitly retorted, — " My Lord, you may take 

56 mr. fitzpatrick's letter on [chap. II. 

The preliminaries of peace were signed on the 20th, 
between Great Britain, France, and Spain ; they have not 
been laid before Parliament; but I hear that we are to 
stand in the West Indies as we did before the war, except- 
ing only that we give up Tobago. We give up the 
Floridas to Spain, for the liberty of cutting logwood in 
Campeachy Bay. Spain keeping Minorca, we keep 
Canada, but give up part of the Newfoundland fishery. 
A cessation of arms is agreed on with Holland. This is 
all I have heard ; when I hear anything further, I will 
write to some of our friends in Ireland. 

My brother desires to join me in best compliments to 
Mrs. Grattan. Believe me to be, dear Grattan, 

Most sincerely yours, 


Mr. Fitzpatrick's letter further explains the pro- 
ceedings in reference to this act, and shews its real 
character. In truth, the measure was founded on 
the idea of Mr. Flood, and was a party and a fac- 
tious proceeding. Having roused the Irish into dis- 
content, he appealed to Lord Temple, Lord Beau- 
champ, and their old opponents, to bring in the 
bill. Mr. Fitzpatrick saw the measure in its true 
form,* and characterised it accordingly ; the ex- 
planation he gives, throws considerable light on 
the transactions of the preceding year, when he 
and Mr. Fox directed the affairs of Ireland. 

what liberty you please with your own relations ,•" — and he soon got the 

* When the 6th of Geo. I. was repealed, Dublin was illuminated, and 
the Volunteers and Garrison fired a feu dejoie; but when this bill passed, 
not a light appeared, not a shot was fired. 




London, Jan. 28th, 1783. 

Dear Sir, 

I postponed returning you thanks, for your very obliging 
letter, till the business of Ireland had been brought forward 
in the House of Commons. Lord Mornington, who was 
present, told me he should immediately write you an 
account of what had passed ; I did not therefore think it 
necessary to trouble you with another account. I must 
confess to you, that I found myself much disappointed in 
the measure of that day, and the mode of introducing the 
business struck me as particularly objectionable. From 
what I understood by your letter, as well as the letters I 
received from the Attorney General and Sheridan, I ex- 
pected a bill relative to the judicature, with a preamble, 
explanatory of the repeal of 6th Geo. I. To such a mea- 
sure, I came prepared to give all the support in my power, 
though not without some doubts as to the expediency of 
the preamble, which, however, would not have weighed 
with me against your better judgment. I was, indeed, 
very much surprised to find the intended bill, brought in 
by Mr. Tovvnshend, entirely upon the principles of Lord 
Beauchamp and Mr. Flood, and grounded wholly upon 
the supposed universal discontent of Ireland. Even to 
such a bill I should have no objection, as an additional 
security to the rights of Ireland, if necessary; but the 
introducing of it in the precipitate manner in which it has 
been done, and upon the vague reports of the most alarm- 
ing situation of things in Ireland, as well as without any 
further communication with the Parliament of Ireland, 
seems to me, to the last degree, unbecoming the dignity of 
the Parliaments of botli kingdoms, and to betray a weak- 



ness and unsteadiness in Government, more suited to the 
system of our predecessors than that which we had hoped 
to establish. I certainly was never one of those who 
maintained that the sense of Parliament, when evidently 
averse to that of the public, ought to be held sacred, or 
infallible; but when Parliament speaks confessedly the 
sentiments of their constituents, as that of Ireland unques- 
tionably did at the close of the last Session, when your 
measures received the most decided support from the whole 
body of the independent country gentlemen, I cannot 
help thinking, that the most mischievous effects are to be 
expected from the total disregard, or rather contempt, 
shewn in our present proceeding, of the sense, so respect- 
fully spoken, of the Irish Parliament; and as an Irishman 
I protest I should feel much more real security for my 
liberty, relying on the good faith of England, publicly and 
solemnly pledged as it has been, than on a further extorted 
concession, which implies a strong suspicion of the sin- 
cerity of England, and which, though hitherto it seems 
likely to produce no debate, I can plainly perceive, indis- 
poses the minds of many, who seem to think that Ireland 
derives delight and satisfaction from our humiliation ; and 
should such an opinion generally prevail, the seeds of 
future disputes are sown, and the adjustment is not final. 
I certainly should have preferred to any measure, the 
resolution you suggest, as proper to have followed the 
rejection of Lord Beauchamp's proposition ; which, though 
it would have fallen short of what he and Mr. Flood insist 
upon, would have quieted the apprehensions of the well- 
intentioned ; and, though not an act of the legislature, 
must have ever been considered as a solemn national 
engagement, to relinquish all legislative power over Ireland. 
There I would have made the stand fairly, and by totally 
disregarding all clamour, whether of volunteers or others, 



I am fully convinced that an honest, uncorrupt, steady 
Government, would soon have • restored tranquillity to 
Ireland, and have left her at leisure to reap the benefits of 
those acquisitions, for which she is principally indebted to 
your exertions, and which she never can profit by, while 
the minds of the people are kept in the state in which it is 
the object and interest of some to keep them. 

I beg to be remembered to the Attorney General and 
Doyle ; and believe me, dear Sir, with the most perfect 
respect and esteem, 

Your very faithful humble servant, 


There were at this period, in Ireland, two 
parties most opposite in their situation and prin- 
ciples, but in their hostility united against Mr. 
Grattan. Those were the dregs of the old oppo- 
sition, and the outcasts of the old court. The 
former had been omitted in the Duke of Portland's 
government, on account of their character ; and 
the latter had been discarded for the same reason; 
and both found it their interest to attack him, 
as an impediment to the gratification of disap- 
pointed ambition, or the return of discarded cor- 
ruption. Some of them had applied to Mr. 
Grattan to use his influence to procure them office, 
and were dissatisfied at being refused. In refe- 
rence to the latter, it must be observed, that the 
government of Ireland, founded as it had been till 
that time, on a suppression of the rights of Par- 
liament — on principles inconsistent with its 
liberties, and contrary to its laws — and maintained 




solely by practices of corruption, had fallen for 
the most -part, into the hands of men divested of 
public principle. The minister of the House of 
Commons was sometimes a native, but the con- 
fidant was ever a stranger by birth, an adventurer 
by situation, a spy on the proceedings, and an 
enemy to the rights of the nation. When the 
force of the country was called forth, and the 
demands of Parliament, backed by the vigour of 
the nation, restored the constitution of the country 
in the administration of the Duke of Portland, 
this description of men was discarded ; and the 
New Administration thought it necessary, in 
order to obtain the confidence of the nation, not 
only to acknowledge her right, but dismiss her 
enemies. Such was Mr. Grattan's opinion and 
advice to Mr. Fox in April 1782.* 

Those men, who had been notoriously active 
against the liberties of Ireland, and who had been 
publicly execrated by her people, — being removed 
from power for their servitude, now betook them- 
selves to sedition — (the tyrant is not more akin to 
the slave than the courtier to the incendiary.) They 
strove to make the Volunteers declare the country 
had got nothing, and rebel against their own 
liberty. The men who ordered this, were those 
who had written under Mr. Eden's government, 
in support of a perpetual Mutiny Bill — who had 
written and spoken in support of the supremacy 

* See his Letter to Mr. Fox, vol. ii. p. 248. 


of England under Lord Buckingham and Mr. 
Eden — who had secretly acted as spies, and pub- 
licly presided in the House as servants of cor- 
ruption — declaimed against, what they called the 
inadequacy of simple Repeal, and assumed the cant, 
the declamation, and the airs of public liberty, 
after it had been established against their efforts, 
and after they had been dismissed because they had 
lost their character on account of their opinions. 
They now invited the Volunteers to oppose the 
Constitutional settlement, to exclaim against the 
reality of their freedom, and to supersede the pro- 
ceedings of the Irish Parliament, under the pre- 
tence of better securing its authority : they 
invited them to interfere against the fencible 
regiments, to call for a convention, to overawe the 
Parliament, — having got freedom and trade from 
the preceding one, and having obtained a new 
Parliament, chosen on the principle of liberty, 
with the additional encouragement, that they had 
extolled the former to the skies for the good 
it had done, and the blessing it had con- 
ferred on the nation. These old advocates for 
slavery, now told Ireland that she was betrayed, 
and betrayed byGreat Britain ; and they pro- 
ceeded to take part with an unlawful pageant, 
which was called a convention, to supersede, 
overawe, and reform Parliament, with their bill 
in one hand, and their bayonet in the other. 
Conventions, no doubt, are to be resorted to, 



and have been called into action with success ; 
but they are weapons of so formidable a nature, 
that they should be carefully preserved, and 
seldom used. 

For the credit of the nation, it must be said, that 
the spirit of discontent did not pervade the entire 
country ; there was much of party, much of faction, 
private jealousy, and disappointment; political 
artifice, and British intrigue. Those of the old 
court were angry at the success of popular mea- 
sures, and were anxious for the return of their 
party to power. Others thought to rouse the 
Irish Volunteers on the subject of Reform, 
with a view to support Mr. Pitt on that ques- 
tion, and to embarrass Mr. Fox's administra- 

The proceedings of the party were extravagant 
and eccentric. They first called for the constitu- 
tion of England as the greatest blessing, and 
their final object. They contended for a repeal 
of the 6th of George I., the limited Mutiny Bill, 
the modification of Poyning's law, and the inde- 
pendency of the j udges, as a consummation of free- 
dom and content. Shortly afterwards they resolved 
that they were not emancipated, and finally took 
a British statute in preference to an Irish charter. 

In their provincial meetings they proceeded to 
resolve that the Parliament was an intolerable 
grievance, and that without reform their very 
existence was a curse, not a blessing. Their 




fidelity to men too was as remarkable as their 
fidelity to measures, and they who adored the 
Duke of Portland and Mr. Fox, condemned both 
immediately after. They made Mr. Yelverton 
Attorney-General, and then they gibbetted him. 
Their admiration and adoration gave Mr. Grattan 
50,000/., and afterward they reproached him with 
great malignity ; endeavoured to blast their own 
grant ; followed him, broken down with sickness, 
to a distant country, with the bitterest invectives ; 
and exercised towards the same man, the same 
person, and the same measures, in the short space 
of a few months, adoration, detestation, unex- 
ampled liberality, and unprecedented abuse. They 
elected him member of their corps when he brought 
them into danger ; they expelled him when he 
gave them liberty ! 

This was in a great degree Mr. Flood's doing, 
and for this he is to be held answerable to his 
country. The people were not wild nor corrupt, 
but he was factious, and they would have gone 
right, had they not been purposely led astray. 

The press, that is generally the author of its own 
destruction, adopted at this period an extreme 
and a dangerous course. Hitherto it had greatly 
served the cause of Ireland, and the principles of 
rational and constitutional freedom ; but now it 
almost seemed to have conspired against itself, and 
to have endeavoured by a course of falsehood 
and folly to become the instrument of its own 


depression.* At one time it advised all men 
to refuse taxes; at another it advised all men 
to rise in arms; at another it recommended 
to break off the connection with England; at 
another to form one with France ; — and it joined 
all this with a complaint that the nation had lost 
the liberty of the press. These publications, 
without beginning and without end, running on 
the feet of old remonstrances, and in the cadence 
of grievances dead and gone, ventilated the ears 
of the people with the eternal soundings of false 
grievances, lest they should ever repose. Others 
in a strain of affected zeal, but real hypocrisy, 
veiled the love of power and the low views of 
demagogues, and applied their canting talents 
to exhort sedition, and all directed the artillery of 
the press to the artillery of the volunteers. 

Dull and vapid as their genius seemed to be, the 
effect, however, was, that nations abroad thought 
Ireland on the eve of a rebellion, and men at home 
who had an inclination to settle in Ireland, were 
deterred, principally by the publications of persons 
who wrote for hire, at the loss of peace to the 
nation. Men thought they saw things returning 
to old times ; they saw the ill humours of the 
community set afloat, and did not know where 
they would stop. 

* No publications of that day, however, equal the violence and gross- 
ness of the press in the present times, and in both countries ; but these 
blemishes will pass away, and leave the great luminary still brilliant and 



Government, however, acted well. No extra- 
ordinary measures were taken to punish their 
conduct. The laws were not strained. The wise 
policy was to leave the press to itself. They let 
it proceed in its blind and headlong course ; and 
without a ray of genius — the recommendation of 
martyrdom — or the reputation of truth —it rolled 
on to oblivion. 

The summer of 1783 was passed in considerable 
agitation. The public mind had not been suf- 
fered to repose ; the doubts as to British sincerity, 
factiously excited, were artfully kept up, and 
another but wider ground for discontent was 
raised throughout the nation, on the subject of 
Parliamentary Reform. In this case there was 
undoubtedly very just cause for complaint, and 
ample ground for amendment. The Parliament 
of Ireland was not a representation of the popular 
voice ; the people had not their just weight 
in that assembly, and the proceedings from the 
year 1778 to the year 1782 had shown how diffi- 
cult it was to rouse that body to a sense of public 
duty, liberty, or nationality. The volunteers un- 
fortunately took up the idea of force instead of 
petition or remonstrance, and proceeded at their 
meetings and provincial assemblies in 1783 to 
enquire into the defects of the body they had just 
called into life. They went farther, and not only 
examined the wounds, but probed them with the 
sword. By this they threw back the question ; 

VOL. III. f 


they injured the cause of Reform, and confirmed 
the bad composition of that assembly, which, if 
milder means had been resorted to, would proba- 
bly have been corrected. They might have known 
that Parliamentary dignity could only exist as 
founded on Parliamentary reputation; that a stead- 
fast opposition to the sense, and a scorn for the 
complaints of the people, could neither restore 
nor exalt it, still less an audacious abuse of a pub- 
lic trust. They had remedied some of these evils, 
and had only to provide against the remainder, 
which must in the end have yielded even to the 
unarmed majesty of the people. They now were 
free, and could have used the instruments of a free 
state, instead of the weapons of a distracted one. 
But impatience often outruns wisdom — as the 
child plants the acorn and expects it at once to 
spring up an oak ; whereas, if he had waited with 
patience, and pruned with care, his posterity 
would have reposed beneath its shade. 



Lord Temple's short administration in Ireland — Succeeded by Lord 
Northington — Change of Ministry in 1783 — List of— New Parliament 
assembled in Ireland — Mr. Grattan and Mr. Flood returned for 
boroughs — The King's answer to the address — New opposition com- 
menced in Parliament — Question of retrenchment — Lord Charlemont 
and Mr. Grattan differ in opinion thereon — Remarks on the policy of 
Ireland with reference to England — Dispute between Mr. Flood and 
Mr. George Ponsonby — Mr. Flood's attack upon the Whigs — His con- 
nexion with the Duke of Chandos — Conduct of the Whigs and Tories 
— Dispute between Mr. Daly and Mr. Flood — His advice to the 
Volunteers, and reply to Mr. Flood — Causes which led to the dispute 
between Mr. Flood and Mr. Grattan — Their speeches — Letter to Mr. 
Day — Hostile meeting — Second attack by Mr. Flood — Message from 
Mr. Grattan, and correspondence between Mr. CurTe and Mr. Mont- 
gomery on the subject — General Burgoyne's letter to Mr. Fox, with 
respect to the dispute, and to the meeting of the Convention. 

After the dissolution of the Rockingham admi- 
nistration, Lord Temple came to Ireland in Sep- 
tember 1782, as Lord Lieutenant, with William 
Grenville* his Secretary. As he appeared a 
second time in the Vice-regal capacity some years 
after, and pursued a course as unconstitutional 
in Ireland as that which he adopted with re- 
ference to the East India Bill in England, he will 

* Afterwards Lord Grenville. He was a good speaker, and a great 
debater, with a thick voice and a bad manner ; not so good an orator 
as Lord Grey, but a master of politics. 

F 2 



deserve further notice, and it is unnecessary to 
dwell upon his conduct at present. He turned 
his attention to two points ; he urged on his 
friends in England the expediency of passing Mr. 
Flood's scheme, (the Bill of Renunciation;) he 
next applied himself to an enquiry into the vari- 
ous departments of the state, with a view to a 
proper expenditure of the public money, and a 
stricter economy. His reign, however, was short ; 
it lasted only from September 1782 to April 1783, 
when the coalition of Lord North and Mr. Fox 
taking place, he was succeeded in June 1783 by 
the Earl of Northington,* whose administration 
formed one of the most important periods in 
the history of the times. 


Great Britain — Members of the Cabinet. 
First Lord of the Treasury, — Duke of Portland. 
Secretary of State for the Home Department, — Lord North. 
Secretary for the Foreign Department, — Rt. Hon. C. J. Fox. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, — Lord J. Cavendish. 
First Lord of the Admiralty, — Lord Viscount Keppel. 
President of the Council, — Lord Viscount Stormont. 
Lord Privy Seal, — Earl of Carlisle. 

Not of the Cabinet. 
Lords Com. Cus. G. Seal, — Lord Loughborough, Sir W. 

H. Ashurst, Sir Beaumont Hotham. 

* Robert Henley was first Baron and Earl of Northington, in 1764, 
and Lord Chancellor of England. He died in 1772, and was succeeded 
by his son and heir, Robert Henley, appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land, who died in 1786, when the title became extinct. 



Master General of the Ordnance, — Lord Vise. Townshend. 
Secretary at War, — Hon. R. Fitzpatrick. 
Paymaster of the Forces, — Edmund Burke, Esq. 
Treasurer of the Navy, — Charles Townshend, Esq. 
Attorney General, — James Wallace, Esq. 
Solicitor General, — John Lee, Esq. 

Secretaries to the Treasury, — R. B. Sheridan, Esq., Richard 
Burke, Esq. 

Speaker of the House of Lords, — Earl of Mansfield. 

Lord Lieutenant, — Earl of Northington. (3d June,1783.) 
Secretary to ditto, — William Windham, Esq. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, — Wm. Gerard Hamilton. 
To continue Lord Chancellor, — Lord LifTord. 
Attorney General, — J.Fitzgibbon, (afterwards Lord Clare.) 
Solicitor General, — Hugh Carleton, (afterwards Lord 

Carleton, and Judge in Common Pleas.) 
Prime Serjeant, — Thomas Kelly, (afterwards Justice of 

Common Pleas.) 

Parliament had been dissolved in the course of 
the year, and the first Parliament that was ever 
called under a free constitution in Ireland, assem- 
bled on the 14th of October, 1783. Mr. Pery 
was again chosen Speaker. It was singular that 
neither Mr. Grattan nor Mr. Flood were elected, 
or even had been put in nomination, for any popu- 
lar constituency. Mr. Grattan sat again for the 
Borough of Charlemont, and Mr. Flood (with 
John Philpot Curran) for the Borough of Kilbeg- 
gan. The address in reply to the speech from the 
throne, stated " that the sincerity and good faith " 

70 king's answer to the address, [chap. III. 

of Great Britain, so abundantly testified by the 
sacred regard shown on her part to the adjust- 
ment of their constitution and commerce, de- 
manded their warmest acknowledgments, while 
they enjoyed the full possession of those consti- 
tutional and commercial advantages which were so 
firmly established in the last Parliament." 

It is here observable, that no notice whatever 
was taken of the act of Renunciation, either in the 
speech or the address; and the reason was, that 
the Irish Parliament would not be party to a 
British statute which assumed by its own authority 
to settle the constitution of Ireland. This was tan- 
tamount to an expression of satisfaction, and was 
a recognition of the validity of the settlement 
made in the preceding year. The reply to the 
address was judicious and prudent, and con- 
tained a sentiment which, if it had been faith- 
fully observed, would have been fortunate for 
both countries, — " a sacred regard to the late ad- 
justment!' But the minister at a later period of 
this history unfortunately adopted a principle 
directly the reverse, and confirmed in the minds 
of the Irish people those doubts as to British 
sincerity which were so injudiciously excited on 
the present occasion. The answer from the king 
is remarkable : — 

" His Majesty receives with the greatest satisfaction, 
the declaration of his faithful Commons ; that, duly sensible 
of the sincerity and good faith manifested by Great 




Britain, in the sacred regard shewn on her part to the 
late adjustment of the constitution and commerce of Ire- 
land, they will earnestly concur in every measure that may 
confirm and strengthen the mutual confidence of both 
kingdoms ; and that union in sentiment as well as interest, 
which is so essentially necessary to the strength, honour, 
and prosperity of the empire." 

It was an unfortunate circumstance, that some 
men who were then in opposition, should have 
adopted its daily practice, and at the outset of 
the session, instead of joining with the Govern- 
ment that had done so much for Ireland, should 
have entered into a petty warfare, and should 
have exhibited doubt — mistrust — and enmity. 
Among these was Sir Edward Newenham, a 
vain, weak and superficial, though not an ill- 
meaning individual. He proposed a six months' 
money bill, without a shadow of pretence or the 
semblance of argument. Another member (Mr. 
Griffith) called for protecting duties for the Irish 
trade. Another member, (Mr. Molyneuxj a few 
weeks after, proposed a tax upon absentees. 

These propositions, coming so soon after the decla- 
ration of the House that the two countries had but 
one common interest, and were united in affection, 
discovered a spirit of jealousy, ill-suited to the 
times, and were an unworthy return for the con- 
cessions that had been made to the country. It 
does not appear, from an examination of the public 
accounts, that there was any grounds for these 




propositions. The Civil Establishment of Ireland 
including pensions, for two years ending March 
1781, was 328,502/.; in March 1783, 343,635/.; 
the Military Establishment in 1781, was 
920,224/. ; in 1783, it was only 898,620/. ; the 
National Debt in 1783, was 2,034,953/. ; and the 
ordinary revenue in 1783, was 2,430,893/. 
Custom's, Excise, &c. &c, were 2,227,947/. ; the 
Carriage Duty was 7,664/. ; the Hearth-money 
125,824/.; the Stamps 69,458/. .; and the debt 
ending March 1784, was only 1,997,417/. So 
that, from this statement, it appears there was a 
clear surplus-revenue above expenditure. Lord 
Temple's government had looked to every expence 
with the eye of scrutiny, and the dawn of Lord 
Northington's bore no appearance of extravagance. 

Notwithstanding these favourable symptoms, the 
question that first engaged the attention of Par- 
liament was that of retrenchment, a popular 
subject certainly at all times, and one that 
affords constant food for angry opposition. Sir 
Henry Cavendish, on the 28th of October, 1783, 
made amotion, that the condition of the kingdom 
required every practicable retrenchment in its 
expenses. Mr. Flood, who at that time sat in 
opposition, after some severe remarks upon the 
Government, proposed an amendment, to the effect 
that the Military Establishment afforded room for 
practicable retrenchment. This was the subject 
which drew forth from Mr* Grattan and Mr. 

chap, in.] 



Flood, the severest philippics against each other, 
that any public men in modern times have in- 
dulged in ; and perhaps we need not except 
those between Demosthenes and iEschines, or 
between Milton and Salmasius. The latter cer- 
tainly were coarser and less polished. In the 
present case, exclusive of personal considerations, 
the subject in dispute was one on which these 
individuals entirely differed. 

It has been already mentioned in the preceding 
volumes, that in the viceroyalty of Lord Towns- 
hend, 15,000 men was the number of troops to be 
kept up by Ireland : it was now proposed to dis- 
pense with a portion of this force. Mr. Grattan 
thought that Ireland was bound by the covenant, 
and was averse to any diminution. It might have 
been injudicious to keep up such a force in 1775, 
76, and 79, when England refused everything ; 
and it may have been wise and just in 1783, when 
she refused nothing ; in fact, the gratitude of the 
Irish now, was the voluntary effluxion of generous 
and equal minds — and no longer the sad tribute 
of reluctant slaves. But the minds of men had 
not grown up to their situation ; they contended 
that some expense might be saved ; and that the 
house of Commons had a precedent, inasmuch, as 
former governments had withdrawn the troops 
even in the time of war ; leaving thereby the 
state unprotected. No doubt this had proved a 
fortunate circumstance for Ireland, as it gave birth 


to the Volunteers ; but a wise people should 
never make the violation on the part of a minister 
the rule of their own conduct ; such errors should 
be beacons to avoid, and not precedents to follow; 
for they may be certain that government will en- 
croach still more, and adduce the very proceedings 
of the people as a ground for further violations of 
compact ; and in the present case, the best chance 
that Ireland had of making Government preserve 
their covenants, was by upholding her own. Such 
a course too was inglorious in the extreme : for a 
scruple of revenue, it was proposed to depart 
from a solemn agreement, which w 7 as nothing to 
Ireland as a nation, having just obtained trade 
and commerce, and which was certain to lessen 
her character, and lower her in the estimation of 
other countries, especially in that of England. 
At this moment in particular, Ireland was required 
to shew moderation, and avoid all questions of 
party, and above all, any questions that brought 
the affairs or the interests of the two kingdoms 
into collision. Sir Henry Cavendish's motion was 
opposed by Mr. George Ponsonby, Mr. Grattan, 
Mr. Bushe, Mr. Kelly, (Prime Serjeant,) and Mr. 
Pelham, the Secretary ; and after a long debate, 
the motion of adjournment was agreed to. 

These debates served to alarm the minds of 
both parties in England ; they saw an attempt to 
reduce the army to almost nothing, and a latent 
design to set up the Volunteers as a permanent 



army of observation in their place. They beheld 
also in the debates within, as well as without the 
walls of Parliament, an indifference manifested 
towards its authority. Lord Charlemont, who 
was strong in his attachment to the British con- 
nexion, seemed scarcely aware of the impolicy of 
the proposed measures, or perhaps felt jealous of 
what he supposed an encroachment on his prero- 
gative ; for he was at the head of an army which 
he had commanded for four years ; and though he 
could not consider it possible that such a force 
could be continued, yet he was naturally unwilling 
to admit the necessity of keeping up so large a re- 
gular army as was necessary to form a counterpoise 
to the one which he had so long commanded. 

Mr. Flood, too, had assisted at the provincial 
meetings ; he was pledged to attend the Conven- 
tion ; he had taken great pains in the management 
of the question of Reform, and Lord Charlemont 
was now much influenced by him, and was induced 
to side in opinion with him on the question of 

Mr. Grattan, though a friend to economy, was 
afraid of any step that tended to lessen the charac- 
ter of the country. He thought the measures now 
proposed were ineligible and injudicious, and de- 
clined to join in an opposition of that character, lest 
it might be said that every effort brad been made 
to gain the affections of the Irish by a series of 
concessions, and every experiment had been tried 



to cultivate their friendly disposition, but all to 
no purpose. In fact, the country stood too high 
for such squabbling measures, and nothing was 
wanting to complete her character but her mode- 
ration and immutability, both as to men and 
measures ; and if, after obtaining her requisition, 
she pursued the principle she then professed — that 
of mutual harmony — of being one people, having 
common interest with England — and under which 
she had preferred her claim of right ; she was 
certain to be advanced in prosperity as much as 
she was in reputation. But if these principles were 
to be cried down, under the pretence that men 
were not to ruin Ireland to serve England, it was 
clear that nothing would be wanting to complete 
such a separation of mind, but that Great Britain 
should reciprocate the sentiment. Ireland had an 
interest in the British Empire, of which she formed 
a principal part — an interest in her navy — an inte- 
rest against the House of Bourbon ; and conse- 
quently an interest in maintaining fifteen thousand 
men for the common cause ; so that this establish- 
ment may justly have been considered, not as a 
measure of gratitude (which it was termed), but 
as an act of empire. It appeared not only un- 
generous, but impolitic on the part of Ireland, to 
withdraw her proportion of troops, at a time when 
England had acceded to the terms of Ireland, and 
had herself suffered great loss of troops and terri- 
tory in America. It did not now become the 



sister-kingdom to draw back, and turn economists 
in national support and imperial contribution, and 
run down the establishment, under the pretence 
that it was not needed for England, and was ex- 
pensive to Ireland. Affairs were altered from what 
they had been when Mr. Flood opposed retrench- 
ment; when unpopular and extravagant govern- 
ments were in power. The Government in Ireland 
stood now on a popular basis, and had for its sup- 
porters, men attached to the people, and who had 
been the uniform friends of economy. 

Several individuals, Mr. Flood among the rest, 
thought this measure directed against the volun- 
teers. Government in both kingdoms viewed them 
with apprehension, and had attempted to lessen 
their influence by the introduction of fencible 
regiments. This plan having failed, it was thought 
prudent to keep up the full number of troops : 
hence it was that the question of retrenchment, al- 
ways popular, became doubly so, when supposed to 
be connected with the existence of the volunteers. 

Mr. Flood well knew the ground he stood upon, 
and by his repeated attacks, and renewed amend- 
ments on this subject, showed that he was deter- 
mined to take every advantage of the position 
he held. It seemed, however, rather suspicious 
coming from men who had opposed retrenchment 
before, and some of whom, a few days after, pro- 
posed an increase to the salary of the Lord Lieu- 
tenant and his secretary, without their knowledge, 

78 mr. flood's dispute with [chap. III. 

and contrary to their wishes, and who sought to 
saddle the country with an expense of several 
thousands a-year at the very moment they cried 
out for retrenchment. This motion was perhaps 
a speculation on the change of ministers, and 
proposed in order to gain favour with their suc- 
cessors. It gave an appearance of faction to the 
whole of the proceedings, and was so considered 
by the Lord Lieutenant, who refused the augmen- 
tation of salary, and in his letter to the British 
minister, showed that he distrusted the sincerity 
of the men who had proposed it. On the whole, 
these propositions were made rather with a view 
to embarrass the ministry than to serve the state. 

On this occasion Mr. Flood was unfortunate 
in quarrelling with his old friends, Mr. Pon- 
sonby* and Mr. Daly. The former had stated 
that Mr. Flood had exerted himself to support his 
father's interest against Lord Townshend, and 
asked him why he had not then opposed the 
system of profusion. Mr. Flood replied, that if 
he had supported his father, he was but ill re- 
quited, for Mr.Ponsonby had called upon Govern- 
ment to dismiss him, and added, with much aspe- 
rity, that " he might boast of Whig principles 
— Whig connections — and Whig friends; but such 
conduct was a manifestation of Whig apostacyy 

These expressions occasioned much surprise 
and indignation among the party who acted with 

* Irish Parliamentary Debates, vol. i. Oct. 1783. 




Mr. Ponsonby, who satisfied himself by sim- 
ply denying that he had called for the dismissal 
of Mr. Flood. This attack upon a party that Mr. 
Ponsonby was personally and politically connect- 
ed with, both in Ireland and in England, was un- 
warranted and unjust. The Whigs had not turned 
Mr. Flood out of office; they had just restored 
freedom to Ireland; their leader, Mr. Fox, had act- 
ed in the noblest manner; and if his conduct is com- 
pared to that of Mr. Pitt, the leader of the opposite 
party, with whose friends Mr. Flood had now con- 
nected himself, Ireland could find no difficulty in 
deciding to whom the preference should be given. 

This attack upon the Whigs injured Mr. Flood 
in England, and when he went there a few weeks 
afterwards, he felt it. He found that his fame had 
gone before him : he lost Mr. Fox ; he did not 
gain Mr. Pitt ; and even his friend and patron, the 
Duke of Chandos, in the ensuing year, most cava- 
lierly, nay, most ignobly, deserted him. 

But Mr. Flood is not the only instance where 
great and splendid talents are to be found devoid 
of that adhesive quality which cements friendship 
and connects party. This attack, too, was made at 
the time that Mr. Flood was returned for the 
borough of Winchester by the Duke of Chandos, 
and was one of the representatives of that country 
which had derived such great benefit from the 
party against which he now inveighed. 

Certainly, in describing the character of theWhigs, 


their Irish policy must be carefully distinguished 
from their English. They were good English pa- 
triots, but bad Irish Kings. They seated the House 
of Hanover on the throne, and kept them there. 
They had treason and rebellion to contend against ; 
their measures were strong, but they were justi- 
fied by the necessity of the case. When they dis- 
armed the Highlands, the rebels had advanced near 
to London, not like modern sedition, but in the 
armed rebellion of a nation who had abandoned 
and acted against the principles of the revolution, 
- — that noble work of metaphysicians, lawyers, and 

The Whigs proved two things, — that they could 
not only effect a great revolution in favour of 
liberty, but that they would risk their popularity 
by strong measures in order to preserve it. The 
Septennial law was a strong measure — an act of 
power. It afterwards was submitted to and acted 
on by the people, and became settled law ; but it 
was necessary at the time ; it was necessary to 
keep the family on the throne. It was a reflection 
no doubt on the people of England, for the people 
of England were Jacobites ; but it showed the 
steadiness of a party who acted at the risk of their 
popularity in defence of liberty, in defence of the 
Bill of Rights, and in defence of the Act of Settle- 
ment. Had England been polled, the majority 
would have restored James the Second, and had 
James returned, the Bill of Rights would have 


been repealed. Let us see the conduct of Sir 
Robert Walpole. His long peace laid the founda- 
tion for the greatness of England ; it established 
her commerce, and enabled the country to go 
through the seven years' war. The Government 
of Lord Chatham, which was partly Whig, was 
glorious for England ; but when the Tories came 
in after, and Lord North governed, they lost 
America ; they proposed a Stamp Act for the 
colonies, and it ended in an Income Tax on Eng- 
land, — a very proper retribution, and one which 
shows that there exists a distributive justice, and 
that Providence not only rewards, but punishes. 

Altogether this attack by Mr. Flood was unwise 
and unfortunate ; and if Mr. Ponsonby was to be 
believed, was quite undeserved. The rencontre 
which next ensued with Mr. Daly, was more 
amusing, as they were skilful fencers, more ex- 
pert, and better matched. Mr. Daly alluded to 
the Volunteers, that formed the subject of debate 
on the question of military retrenchment, and 
said, " To give them praise is but to join the 
general voice ; but I cannot think it would be pru- 
dent to leave the defence of the kingdom to a 
body of men whose slightest motion Government 
does not direct, and whom the state has not the 
power to retain embodied for a single hour. Were 
I to suggest a sentiment to those respectable 
bands, it is that they should reserve themselves 
for great occasions, and not listen to the inflam- 

vol. in. G 


matory speeches of men whose wishes are to mis- 
lead them." Mr. Flood replied: — "The honourable 
gentleman has learned his language from his 
situation, and has soon become an adept in the 
speeches which flow from office." To which Mr. 
Daly retorted : — " I do declare I never did make 
an official speech in my life, and rather than do so, 
I would follow the example of the honourable 
gentleman himself, and be silent while in office."* 

This was a blow that could not be parried. 
In fact, Mr. Flood's temper was soured ; he 
had been ill-treated — had lost his office — was 
dismissed from the privy council, and perhaps 
had a right to complain that he was not restored. 
But the truth was, that just at the opening of 
the Duke of Portland's government, Mr. Flood 
had generally absented himself from the private 
meetings of the party, or when he attended, 
found fault with their measures. The part which 
he took afterwards, on the simple repeal in June 
and July, 1782, was a complete breach with 
Government, and they thought that they could 
not with any propriety restore him. 

As far as regarded Mr. Grattan, it may not be 
too much to say that some feelings of jealousy ex- 
isted in his mind ; he may perhaps have been vexed 
to find that a young man whom he had known 
almost as a boy, and with whom he used to debate 

* While in office Mr. Flood seldom took part on the popular subjects 
that were brought forward. 


in private, should have so far outstripped him, as 
to have effected in less than seven years what 
had not even been attempted by others in a long 
political life. But it happened that Mr. Flood 
disagreed with all his friends, — Yelverton, Bushe, 
Daly, Ponsonby, and Brown, — and Mr. Grattan 
was the last on his list. He had, after the spring 
of 1782, taken a most active part against Mr. 
Grattan, whose friends informed him, that some 
of the severest writings with which the press 
teemed, had proceeded from Mr. Flood's party ; 
and it was reported that he had sent down to Bel- 
fast in order to excite the Volunteers against him. 

Nothing could exceed the virulence and abuse 
of the press with which Mr. Grattan was assailed ; 
and certainly if Mr. Flood was not guilty of 
these acts, — (for it is unjust to suppose that such 
a man, whose mind like his situation should be 
elevated and noble, could stoop to aim these 
hidden blows against his former friend,) — yet it 
cannot be denied that he gave the tone to that 
style of attack, and indirectly aided an oppo- 
sition, which contributed to the sudden change 
that many of the Volunteers evinced at this 
period. After 1782, Mr. Flood did Mr. Grattan all 
the injury he possibly could. Before that he 
wanted to take from him his motions in Par- 
liament ; but this he could not be allowed to do. 
They had been very intimate formerly ; but now 
Mr. Flood lost all his friends except Mr. Grattan, 

g 2 


who contrived to keep on good terms with him 
till 1783. Then they differed ; and as Mr. Grattan 
owed him nothing, but found himself still per- 
secuted, he determined to give him the history 
of his life. This is the secret of those celebrated 
and severe philippics. They afford a melancholy 
instance how the noblest minds may be warped 
by passion or party, and induced to sacrifice their 
splendid talents at the unholy shrine of thankless 
politics. Neither party was the gainer by the 
rupture, and the country was the sufferer. 

Mr. Flood had certainly been the cause of much 
mischief; he deranged the public mind, and 
sowed the seeds of discontent ; he filled the coun- 
try with alarm, took the people from habits of 
order and industry, and led the Volunteers totally 
astray. Lord Charlemont, so early as June, 1782, 
had expostulated with him on his conduct at that 
period ; and in writing to him upon his visit to the 
North, where the people had opposed the proceed- 
ings of Parliament, he says, " Some are still dis- 
contented, and I am sorry for it ; but how could 
it be otherwise when they have the sanction and 
impression of your opinions — of your eloquence. 
—Oh, my dear Flood, what are you about ? — you 
never have taken a part so disagreeable to my 
feelings, because you never till now have done 
anything that I could not somehow justify to 
myself and consequently to others. The cry is 
against you — I do not join in it — friendship forbids 


me. But, alas I why must I be silent ? why can- 
not I defend you ?" 

It was pretty clear that Mr. Flood wanted to 
annihilate the party. He had injured the oppo- 
sition, by making the people think their object 
was merely to bid for popularity ; and he had 
injured the Government, by making the people 
believe that they were betrayed, that nothing had 
been done, and that they must apply to England 
for a Bill of Rights. The session had com- 
menced by an attack upon Government on the 
old charges of jobbing and peculation ; and on the 
motion of Sir Henry Cavendish, Mr. Flood said 
the words were too weak, and that they should 
be, not that the country required retrenchment, but 
" demanded" it. He alluded to Mr. Grattan's mea- 
sures, and spoke of his party and his new friends 
with severity and scorn. Mr. Grattan, in reply, 
alluded to him in strong, though not in severe 
terms; but referring to his conduct on the American 
question, Mr. Flood got up, indignant, exclaim- 
ing, " There was no one with whom he less feared 
to be compared." The attack was made up of what 
had appeared in the newspapers for the course of 
a year — what the factioneers had written and re- 
solved, and what they had published against Mr. 
Grattan ; but the passage which was unpar- 
donable was where Mr. Flood exclaimed, " I am 
not a mendicant patriot, who was bought by my 
country for a sum of money, then sold her for 



prompt payment." This was the blow that ren- 
dered the breach irreparable. The fault of the day 
was invective, but this was what was appropriately 
termed a "bloody invective,' 9 — immedicabile vulnus. 

Mr. Grattan, thus challenged, was bound to 
reply. He knew that petty figures and small 
antitheses would not do, — that strong arguments 
and bold facts would be better ; he knew Mr. 
Flood's character, the reach of his understand- 
ing, and the history of his life. Mr. Flood was 
that sort of man, whom a slight attack would 
not affect ; it was useless to wound a lion of that 
size, and when he was down it was necessary 
to beat him till he was lifeless. Mr. Grattan ac- 
cordingly gave him his history, with great severity, 
no doubt, but unaccompanied by the coarse expres- 
sions which were published at the time ; and he 
contrived, by drawing his character as a fictitious 
one, not to violate the rules of order. 

The House was astonished, and on Mr. Flood it 
seemed to come quite unprepared. He was stun- 
ned, looked about, shook his head, and seemed 
quite bewildered. He shortly after got up, and 
immediately left the question ; and not only fell out 
of order, but that so outrageously, that the Speaker 
stopped him. He then said he must make his de- 
fence, that the gallery had been cleared, and that 
it was proper that those who had heard the 
attack should hear the defence. He named a day 
for the purpose, and then entered on his defence. 


It is perhaps the best statement he ever made, but 
most of it was nothing to the purpose. It may 
be true that some administrations deserved sup- 
port, that others deserved no support, and again 
others might or might not be supported : such 
is the doctrine laid down by Gerrard Hamil- 
ton in his Parliamentary Logic, and maintained 
with address and plausibility. But it could 
not be said that the administration of Lord 
Townshend was indifferent, — the Augmentation, 
or the Embargo, indifferent ; — these were great 
national questions. Certainly on the question of 
freedom Mr. Flood voted with the opposition ; but 
his fault was, that he came too late. He was 
of too much consequence in the country not to 
take a decided part ; he followed the army, but 
he should have been in the first rank. Other 
men would have had a good excuse for not coming 
forward at once ; Flood had none. The following 
were the observations made by the two opponents 
on the occasion : — 

Mr. Grattan. — I shall not trouble you long, nor take 
up the time of the House by apologising for bodily in- 
firmity, or the affectation of infirmity ; I shall not speak 
of myself, or enter into defence of my character, having 
never apostatized. 

I think it is not necessary for the House now to inves- 
tigate what we know to be fact. I think it would be 
better to go into the business, as the House did upon 
another occasion, without waiting the formality of the 
committee's report. As to myself, the honourable reward 



that a grateful nation has bestowed upon me, for ever 
binds me to make every return in my power, and parti- 
cularly to oppose every unnecessary expense. I am far 
from thinking with the hon. gentleman, as to the speech, 
and I believe he will find instances where economy has 
been recommended from the throne, but prodigality prac- 
tised. This was the case in Lord Harcourt's adminis- 
tration, which had the support of the hon. gentleman, and 
therefore he, of all men, cannot be at a loss to reject that 
illusory economy, which has so often appeared in the 
speeches of lord-lieutenants. With respect to the Gene- 
vese, I never could have thought it possible to give the 
speech such a bias as has been mentioned, and that people 
will be deceived, if they give credit to any declamation 
that infers from the words of the speech, any thing but an 
honest economy in applying the public money fairly to 
their use. The nation has derived great honour from this 
transaction, and I would be sorry to have it tarnished by 
inference and insinuation. 

In 1781, when the burdens of the country were com- 
paratively small, I made a motion similar to this ; the hon. 
gentleman then opposed me. I have his sanction, now, 
that I was right, and he was wrong ; and I say this, that 
though gentlemen may for a while vote against retrench- 
ments, they may at last see the necessity of them. Yet 
while I see retrenchment absolutely necessary, I am not 
very sure that this is just the time to make it in the army 
— now when England has acted justly, I will not say 
generously, — now when she has lost her empire, — when 
she still feels the wounds of the late unhappy war, and 
comforts herself only with the faithful friendship of Ire- 
land. In 1779, when the liberties of Ireland were denied 
and those of America in danger, it was thought unadvisable 
to retrench our army. There can be no such reason to reduce 



it now, when both are acknowledged and confirmed. When 
we voted 4000 men to butcher our brethren in America, the 
hon. gentleman should have opposed that vote ; but per- 
haps he will be able to explain the propriety of sending 
4000 Irishmen thither. But why not look for retrench- 
ment in the revenue, and other departments ? In my mind, 
the proper mode would be to form a fair estimate of what 
would be a reasonable peace establishment, and reduce our 
several departments to it. 

Mr. Flood. — The right hon. member can have no doubt 
of the propriety of my saying a word in reply to what he 
has delivered. Every member in the House can bear 
witness of the infirmity I mentioned, and therefore it 
showed but little candour to make a nocturnal attack upon 
that infirmity. But I am not afraid of the right hon. mem- 
ber; I will meet him any where, or upon any ground, by 
night or by day. I would stand poorly in my own estimation 
and my country's opinion, if I did not stand far above 
him. I do not come here dressed in a rich wardrobe of 
words to delude the people. I am not one who has pro- 
mised repeatedly to bring in a Bill of Rights, yet does not 
bring in that bill, or permit any other person to do it. I 
am not one who threatened to impeach the Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench, for acting under an English 
law, and afterwards shrunk from that business. I am 
not the author of the simple repeal. I am not one who 
would come at midnight, and attempt by a vote of this 
House to stifle the voice of the people, which my egregious 
folly has raised against me. I am not the gentleman who 
subsists upon your accounts. I am not the mendicant 
patriot who was bought by my country for a sum of 
money, and then sold my country for prompt payment. 
I am not the man who in this House loudly complained of 
an infringement made by England, in including Ireland in 



a bill, and then sent a certificate to Dungannon that 
Ireland was not included. I never was bought by the 
people, nor ever sold them. The gentleman says he never 
apostatized ; but I say I never changed my principles ; 
let every man say the same, and let the people believe them 
if they can. But if it be so bad a thing to take an office 
in the state, how comes that gentleman connected with 
persons in office ? They, I hope, are men of virtue, or how 
came that gentleman so closely connected with Colonel 
Fitzpatrick ? I object to no man for being in office ; a 
patriot in office is the more a patriot for being there. 
There was a time when the glories of the great Duke of 
Marlborough shrunk and withered before those of the right 
honourable gentleman; when palaces, superior to Blen- 
heim, were to be built for his reception, when pyramids 
and pillars were to be raised, and adorned with emblems 
and inscriptions sacred to his virtue. But the pillars and 
pyramids are now sunk, though then the great Earl of 
Chatham was held inferior to him. However, he is still 
so great, that the queen of France, I dare say, will have 
a song made on the name of Grattan. 

Lord Harcourt practised economy: but what was the 
economy of the Duke of Portland ? — One hundred thou- 
sand pounds was voted to raise 20,000 seamen, though it 
was well known that one-third of that number could not 
be raised ; and what was the application of the money ? 
It was applied to the raising of the execrated Fencibles. 

It is said I supported Lord Harcourt's administration ; 
it is true, but I never deserted my principles, but carried 
them into the cabinet with me. A gentleman who now 
hears me, knows that I proposed to the privy council an 
Irish Mutiny Bill, and that not with a view of any par- 
liamentary grant. I supported an absentee tax ; and while 
I was in office, registered my principles in the books of Go- 



vernment; and the moment I could not influence Govern- 
ment to the advantage of the nation, I ceased to act with 
them. I acted for myself ; I was the first that ever told 
them that an Irish Mutiny Bill must be granted. If this 
country is now satisfied, is it owing to that gentleman ? 
No, the simple repeal, disapproved and scouted by all the 
lawyers in England and in Ireland, shews the contrary ; 
and the only apology he can make is, that he is no lawyer 
at all. A man of warm imagination and brilliant fancy 
will sometimes be dazzled with his own ideas, and may for 
a moment fall into error ; but a man of sound head could 
not make so egregious a mistake ; and a man of an honest 
heart could not persist in it after it was discovered. I 
have now done ; and give me leave to say, if the gentle- 
man enters often into this kind of colloquy with me, he 
will not have much to boast of at the end of the session. 

Mr, Grattan. — In answer to the hon. member who 
spoke last, I am obliged to say something. I shall adhere 
to order as much as possible ; it is much more material to 
observe decorum towards this House than to retort per- 

The charge brought against me of accepting 50,000Z. 
from Parliament is not my affair, but yours. You thought 
my services deserved it. I will not imitate the hon. mem- 
ber by a display of them, nor will I pay you so ill a 
compliment as to suppose it necessary to satisfy your 
unanimous act against any charge of that member. 

With respect to a Bill of Rights, I mentioned to this 
House that the English act then recently passed, called 
the St. Christopher's Bill, did, I apprehended, extend to 
Ireland ; if so, that it was a breach of compact, and 
made some measure necessary on the part of Ireland ; that 
I requested to consider in that case whether an Irish Bill 
of Rights ought not to be introdoced ; and if that was the 



sense of the House, that I should propose one. A few 
days after I brought the St. Christopher's Bill to the 
House, and submitted whether they conceived it to be an 
infraction on the part of England ; but so far from think- 
ing so were gentlemen, there was not one who spoke in the 
debate that did not disclaim the idea, and declare the act 
could not be construed to extend to Ireland ; (I must 
observe also that this bill had passed in England before 
Mr. Fox's motion for a repeal of the Declaratory Act ;) and 
so decided against the necessity of any measure was the 
House, that a short time after, when a Bill of Rights was 
introduced, it was rejected almost unanimously, six men 
only voting for it. I did not introduce a Bill of Rights, 
therefore, because the only ground for it was a supposed 
infraction, which was denied. I plainly perceived that 
such a bill was certain to be rejected by the whole House. 
It was my duty to give you notice of everything which 
might be thought an infraction, and then to acquiesce 
in your judgment. As to the other charge, that I en- 
deavoured by a vote of this House to stifle the voice of the 
people, it has been basely misstated. The motion was, 
that every man who in writing or in speech asserted that a 
right existed, or could be revived in a foreign legislature, 
to bind this country, was a public enemy. The words of 
the motion are the best answer to the charge of empty 
clamour, which I despise. 

Sir, it is the misfortune of every man who acts a conspi- 
cuous public part to be followed and traduced by men of a 
malignant and envious mind, who see no merit where they 
take no part ; but it is not the slander or bad tongue of a 
bad man that can defame me. I maintain my reputation 
in public and in private life. No man of character can say 
I ever deceived him— no county has ever called me a 
cheat. Let me suppose such a man — a man whose con- 



6tant practice was to abuse every person who differed from 
him, and to betray every man who trusted him. I will 
begin with him in his cradle, and follow him to his last 
state — I will suppose him in the first period of his political 
life, intemperate ; in his second, corrupt ; and in his last, 
seditious; — that after a virulent attack upon the persons 
and government of a succession of Viceroys, he became 
reconciled to administration when your expenses had 
increased, when an embargo was laid on the trade, of Ire- 
land, and war declared against the liberties of America. I 
will suppose this man then to have become silent, and to 
drop the themes of past invective ; — that on the great con- 
stitutional question of the Mutiny Bill, when it was made 
perpetual he absconded, but in a year and a half after the 
bill had passed that he exclaimed, that we were ruined by 
a perpetual Mutiny Bill. With respect to Poyning's Law, 
when money bills were altered session after session, and 
the altered bill thrown out at one door and introduced at 
another, I will suppose this man to abscond or acquiesce ; 
yet afterwards when another gentleman undertook the 
remedy, I will suppose him to exclaim against the griev- 
ance, the remedy, and the man who introduced it. As to 
the repeal of 6 Geo. I. when the question was debating 
here, I will suppose him silent about renunciation, and 
not even to divide ; but after the repeal was ready for the 
Royal assent, that he exclaimed against it, and implored 
the people to be dissatisfied with freedom, because he was 
not the man who obtained it, and canvassed even in the 
public street for sedition. I will suppose that he sup- 
ported the most prodigal measures of the most prodigal ad- 
ministration, and opposed retrenchment ; that he supported 
in this house the ruinous embargo of 1776; that when 
the inadequate duty on sugar was debating, and an al- 
tered Sugar Bill was passed, he absconded ; but in a year 



or two after exclaimed that we were ruined by it. With 
respect to the Volunteers, I will suppose that he never was 
a Volunteer till he ceased to be a Placeman — that he 
first opposed their institution, and afterwards inflamed 
them — the last of their friends and the first of their ene- 
mies. As to America, I will suppose him to have voted 
4000 of the Irish army to fight against her, calling those 
butchers an armed negotiation, and thus, with a metaphor 
in his mouth and a bribe in his pocket, give a base suffrage 
against the liberty of America, the eventual liberty of Ire- 
land, and the cause of mankind. 

I will suppose this man's honour equal to his oath. I 
will suppose him an insufferable egotist ; I will stop him 
in his career, and say, — Sir, you are mistaken if you think 
your talents are as great as your life is infamous. We have 
seen you a violent opposer of Government, and afterwards 
on the most trying questions silent — silent for years, and 
silenced by money; we have seen you haunting this 
House like a guilty spirit, watching the moment when you 
should vanish from the question ; or you might be descried 
hovering about this dome like an ill-omened bird of night, 
with sepulchral note, cadaverous aspect, and a broken 
beak, watching to stoop and pounce upon your prey ; or 
we have detected you hid behind that chair, to avoid a 
division, or feigning infirmities to excuse your absence. 
Influenced by place, or stung by disappointed ambition, 
we have seen you pursue a course of most manifest dupli- 
city. You can be trusted by no man — the people cannot 
trust you ; the Minister cannot trust you ; you have dealt 
out the most impartial treachery to both, and now you tell 
the nation she was ruined by others when she was sold by 
you. You fled from the Mutiny Bill — you fled from the 
Sugar Bill— you fled from the Six Months' Money Bill — 
I therefore tell you, in the face of your country, before 



all the world, and to your beard, you are not an honest 

This reply was not published by Mr. Grattan. 
The argument here stated was sent to his friend 
Day, as appears from the following letter to that 
person, and from whom I received it in 1839. 
The matter having been settled in a hostile man- 
ner, it was considered more honourable not to 
publish the invective. 


Tinnehinch, November 12, 1783. 

My dear Day, 
I enclose you a very imperfect sketch. I wish you would 
make what verbal alterations you please. All I wish is, not 
to appear to have delivered the nonsense which the maga- 
zine and public prints make me speak. I had rather that 
an abstract had been given of the invective than the invec- 
tive itself, because I don't find Mr. Flood has done so ; 
neither do I find that any invective of Lord Chatham, 
or others, were published by themselves. Whether it 
would be proper now to publish the very strong and bitter 
expressions of that just attack, I cannot take it upon me 
to decide. Let me have your opinion ; if you think so, 
you shall have them. Yours, 

H. Grattan. 

I apprehend very much that the Parliamentary Regis- 
ter is a copy of the newspapers. If so, it were to be 
wished such a book were never published, because it per- 
petuates a libel on the House of Commons. The man who 
undertakes to publish debates, should undertake to collect 


After this unpleasant altercation, the parties 
contrived to leave the house. Mr. Flood was, 
however, taken into custody, but escaped ; and 
the next morning Mr. Montgomery waited on Mr. 
Cuffe, Mr. Grattan's friend, with a message. Mr. 
Grattan stated that he was prepared to go out 
instantly. Mr. Montgomery stated that Mr. Flood 
was not ready, as he had not made his will ; Mr. 
CufFe objected to this, saying that Mr. Grattan 
had made his will, and that if any delay occurred 
it was impossible that the parties should remain 
undiscovered. Mr. Montgomery then returned, 
and appointed the ensuing day, and named the 
place, near Marino, close to the road. When 
Mr. Grattan went there early next morning he 
found Mr. Flood under arrest ; the parties were 
then bound over in heavy recognizances, and thus 
this matter ended. Mr. Flood, however, did not 
remain quiet, and some time after, an address from 
a Volunteer Corps having been got up by some of 
his friends, requesting him not to expose his 
person, Mr. Flood, in his reply, stated that he 
would follow their advice, and " consign to impu- 
nity the object of contempt." Upon this Mr. 
Grattan sent to ascertain whether Mr. Flood 
would take advantage of his being bound over? 
Mr. Montgomery, who was a very brave man, 
pledged himself that he would not, upon which 
Mr. Grattan immediately sent Mr. CufFe to 
him, and appointed Holyhead as their place 




of meeting. The following correspondence took 
place : — 


"That the present application has not the smallest 
reference to the original dispute. That Mr. F. in his 
answer to the Castlebar Volunteer Corps, has concluded 
in words as follows: — 'That he resigns to impunity the 
object of contempt — that Mr. Grattan conceives these 
words allude to him; and as he is sensible that a news- 
paper controversy would not do honour to the characters 
of either, he, with great reluctance, wishes Mr. F. to fix 
time and place in any country." 


"That the answer of Mr. Flood to the address of the 
Castlebar Volunteers has no reference to the original dis- 
pute to which Mr. G. alludes, is a mistake. The address 
relates principally to the dispute; and the answer neces- 
sarily referring to that matter, relates equally to it. Mr 
F. has already declared his situation to be such, as not to 
permit him at present to attend further to that business." 

Note delivered by Mr. Cuffe to Mr. Montgo- 
mery for Mr. Flood. 

<f That if Mr. Flood does not conceive himself in a 
capacity to give satisfaction, he should not have given 
offence ; and that Mr. Grattan conceives Mr. F.'s answer as 
a refusal, and must state it as such if Mr. Flood does not 
now appoint some certain time." 


M Mr. F.'s answer to the Castlebar address, and his 
answer to Mr. Grattan's subsequent proposition, do both 
vol. in. H 



signify that Mr. Flood's situation does not permit him at 
present to conform to Mr. Grattan's idea. Where the 
impropriety originated, or remains, is not to be decided by 
Mr. Grattan. Mr. Flood can have no objection to abide 
by the public opinion." 

Mr. Flood having thus declined to apologize, 
or give the satisfaction required, Mr. Grattan 
stated he would circulate among his friends the 
account of the transaction. 

General Burgoyne (at that time the commander 
of the forces in Ireland) alludes to the circum- 
stance in the following letter to Mr. Fox. As to 
the statement of the 50,000/. being left back to the 
public, it seems confirmed by the ultimate dispo- 
sition of this property in his will of 1820, where in 
failure of issue he leaves the estates purchased 
under the vote and resolution of the House of Com- 
mons, to purposes of charity for the support of the 
poor of Dublin, and the erection of houses or 
refuge for the indigent. 


Royal Hospital, Oct.3\st, 1783. 
My Dear Charles, 
I received a call as to the opening of Parliament, signed by 
you. I shall not obey it unless I hear from you ,parti- 

* This was the individual who had met with a sad reverse when 
opposed by the Americans at Saratoga, in 1777. He was, however, an 
officer of unquestioned courage, and his skill was in much repute. He 
was a man of fortune, possessed of talent and humour, and an agreeable 
writer. The English opposition had taken his part in Parliament, and 
he was sent to Ireland as Commander-in-Chief. His opinion as to the 
catholics does not appear very liberal. 




cularly. To other persons I might add the apprehen- 
sions that timid and melancholy politicians entertain upon 
the meeting of the conventional delegates on the 10th 
of next month. I have myself not any idea of serious 
commotion, but we have strengthened the garrison of 
Dublin, and it might be thought wrong by the com- 
mander-in-chief to be absent. You have, doubtless, the 
fullest information of the proceedings and language of the 
Bishop of Derry, and the mode by which the friends of 
Government mean to meet the question of parliamentary 
reform, if urged upon them by application to parliament: 
I take for granted you are far from discountenancing the 
abstract question of parliamentary reform here as well as in 
England. I am impatient for the settlement or the pre- 
vention of this natural object, however desirable in itself, 
upon the principle of the Dungannon meeting, and under 
the influence of an armed force. 

Much difference of opinion also prevails on the con- 
duct that respectable characters, lovers of the constitution, 
and of the good order of the state, ought to hold on the 
10th of November. They being delegates, chosen in their 
absence, and without their consent, ought they to appear 
and to debate against the illegality of the meeting thinking 
it such ? — or, ought they entirely to deprive it of their 
sanction by absenting themselves ? Conolly, who is one 
of the body, is clearly for the latter measure. 

I now come to the subject which will greatly interest 
your curiosity — the invective between Grattan and Flood, 
in the House, on Tuesday last. The papers will give you 
the outline, but they are inaccurate in many of the ex- 
pressions, particularly in the most severe ; and the deter- 
mined look and action on each side, was even more em- 
phatic than the words. Can you believe that the House 
heard this for upwards of two hours without interfering ? 

H 2 



On the contrary, every one seemed to receive enjoy merit 
as his favourite gladiator gave or parried a stroke ; and 
when the chair did at last interfere, they were suffered, by 
an inattention which seemed on purpose, to withdraw them- 
selves. The sheriffs were afterwards ordered to arrest 
them — Grattan effectually hid, but Flood was taken into 
custody, and again let go by the sheriffs. 

I believe the following account of the subsequent pro- 
ceedings is pretty correct : — On Wednesday evening Mr. 
Montgomery, on the part of Mr. Flood, applied to Mr. 
Cuffe, the designed second of Grattan, and began by asking 
if he saw any prospect of accommodation through the 
intervention of friends. Cuffe answered, he was sure 
Grattan would make no apology. Montgomery said, he 
was then instructed to settle with him time and place. 
Cuffe said, the place Mr. Flood chose, and the time if he 
thought proper, in five minutes, for he knew his friend had 
made his will the night before ; that he was married to an 
amiable woman, to whom suspense would be cruel, and 
he prayed, among other things, for a speedy decision. 
Montgomery acknowledged that he was not authorized to 
agree to a meeting earlier than the next morning — Thurs- 
day. He went back, and returned with a confirmation 
of Flood's desire of Thursday, for the purpose of settling 
private affairs. Grattan changed his abode to prevent 
being put under arrest. On Thursday morning early, the 
two combatants were served under Lord Chief Justice's 
warrant, and bound over for two years to keep the peace. 
How the intelligence of the place of meeting was obtained, 
cannot be known ; probably, the principals were both 
innocent of the discovery ; but the general tenor of Grat- 
tan's conduct certainly acquits him. This day Flood 
appeared in the House — Grattan did not. Whether they 
go over to-night by the packet for the decision, or Flood, 




the challenger, rests content under the recognizance in 
the kingdom of Ireland, time only can show. I shall 
conclude this with a trait, that I have good reason to 
believe is true, and that I think is very consistent with 
Grattan's character, viz., that in the will made on Tues- 
day night, he left the 50,000/. to the public, charged only 
with an annuity for life to Mrs. Grattan, of 800Z. 

Sincerely yours, 




The National Convention for Reform — Mr. Fox's letter to the Lord 
Lieutenant respecting it — His remarks on the Renunciation Bill 
— The settlement of 1782— The volunteers — The business of Por- 
tugal, and the concessions to Ireland — His opinion on advancing 
Mr. Scott and Mr. Fitzgibbon to office—His letter to General Bur- 
goyne on Irish affairs, on the conduct of the Volunteer Convention 
and the dangers arising therefrom — General Burgoyne's letter to Mr. 
Fox— Meeting of the Delegates on the 10th November, 1783— Lord 
Charlemont elected chairman — Seeds of discontent attempted to be 
sown by a pretended message from the Roman Catholics — Sir Patrick 
Bellew and the Roman Catholics disown it — Their resolutions — Lord 
Kenmare and Sir Boyle Roche's letters on the subject — Conduct of 
Mr. Flood — Lords Charlemont, Aldborough, and others, offer to give 
up their boroughs — Mr. Flood's speech in the Convention — Letter 
of General Burgoyne to Mr. Fox respecting the Convention, and 
application of the Catholics — Lord Lieutenant's (Northington) letter 
to Mr. Fox respecting Mr. Flood — The affairs of Ireland, and Mr* 
Fitzgibbon's promotion. 

The Convention took its origin from the following 
circumstances : — In England the question of Re- 
form had been supported by Mr. Pitt, and was the 
means of his accession to office. It was taken up after- 
wards by the people, under the administration of Lord 
Shelburne, at the end of 1782 ; and associations 
were formed in various parts of England, in order 
to carry into effect their object. Individuals who 
heretofore exhibited no interest for Ireland in all 
her contests for liberty, and her efforts to make 



her parliament independent, seemed suddenly to 
awaken and become metamorphosed ; the British 
reformer became an Irish patriot. These persons 
applied to Ireland, and entered into communica- 
tion with the Volunteers of the north, the "York- 
shire Association'' and the " London Constitutional 
Knowledge Society;" passed various resolutions 
respecting the Volunteers of Ulster; and in their 
letters urged the Irish to hold a convention of 
delegates from the four provinces, in order to 
reform the Irish parliament, whose legislative 
independence had never hitherto elicited either a 
friendly resolution, or a sympathetic expression, 
and for supporting the trade and commerce of 
whose country, the electors of Bristol had de- 
prived of his seat in Parliament one of the greatest 
ornaments of the kingdom.* 

By these various practices the Irish Volunteers 
were deceived and led into error by false guides, 
who felt little concern in thus involving them 
with the Parliament. Mr. Henry Joy, jun.,-f of 
Belfast, took a very active part on this occasion, 
as secretary for the northern reformers; he en- 
tered into a correspondence, and published a 
series of resolutions and exhortations to the 
people on the subject. 

Accordingly, in the month of July, 1783, de- 

* Edmund Burke. See his Letter to the electors of Bristol. 

f This person was not Chief Baron Joy (as stated in the Sketches of 
an Irish Barrister) ; he belonged to another branch of the family ; they 
were first cousins. 




legates from several corps in Ulster, called together 
a general assembly of those of that province for the 
8th of September, and 500 delegates from 272 
corps met at the dissenters' meeting-house, at 
Belfast. Mr. Flood travelled from Dublin to 
attend it, but was taken ill on the road, and unable 
to appear. Lord Bristol (Bishop of Derry) was 
present, and under his sanction they resolved that 
the imperfect state of the representation in Par- 
liament was an intolerable grievance ; they issued 
an address to the Volunteers of the three provinces, 
and concluded by calling on them to hold a con- 
gress, and produce a plan of reform, and demand 
their rights, — robbed of which, " the forms of a free 
government would be a curse, and existence cease 
to be a blessing." In the same strain they passed 
a resolution in admiration of the English and 
Scotch reformers. Leinster, Munster, and Con- 
naught met in succession, and the four provinces 
appointed four delegates from each county as 
their representative body. 

In consequence of this appeal, the provinces 
assembled, and at the Leinster meeting Mr. Peter 
Burrows,* that distinguished lawyer and most able 
of advocates, proposed the admission of Roman 
Catholics to the elective franchise. This, however, 
was objected to, and when the question was after- 

* This individual was one of Mr. Grattan's intimate friends. He pos- 
sessed the clearest head, the soundest judgment ; his opinion was in- 
valuable; in the Irish Parliament he acted at the Union a noble part ; 
his panegyric on Mr. Grattan was beautiful and sublime. 



wards introduced in the convention, there arose 
such a variety of opinions that it was thought 
prudent to avoid the subject. Thus the great mass 
of the people were omitted in Mr. Flood's plan, 
so that it was only an extension of the borough 
system ; his opposition to the Catholics prevented 
its being a complete reform. 

It is worth observing, that the lawyers who were 
most prominent and vociferous at this period, and 
in the preceding one, on the subject of simple 
repeal, proved afterwards least friendly to Ireland 
and her liberties — SirS. Bradstreet, Mr. Joy, Mr. 
Smith, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Downes, and others, 
many of whom got business by courting the 
people, as they afterwards got power by courting 
the Government. 

The proceedings of these delegates occasioned, 
as appears from subsequent letters, considerable 
alarm in England. Mr. Pitt, when he was in 
office, had written to the Irish Government on the 
subject, but the style of his communication was 
very different from that of Mr. Fox : the latter 
showed the goodness of his heart, and the mild- 
ness of his disposition ; full of candour, and free 
from the cunning of a politician, the paternal 
anxiety he expressed, and the regret at the situa- 
tion to which things seemed to be approaching, 
do him infinite credit. On a question, whether 
England or Ireland should be defeated, between 
these two great calamities, he said he did not 

106 mr. fox's letter : — THE convention, [ch. IV. 

know which to feel or which to deprecate most. 
But in the letters of Mr. Pitt, there was a stern- 
ness and a severity ill suited to a popular charac- 
ter, still more to a reformer ; they were, to use 
Mr. Grattan's phrase, " all case-hardened his 
idea was not to yield in the least ; he disliked the 
Volunteers, and censured them severely. His 
letters were sent to Mr. Grattan, and the impres- 
sion they produced on his mind was far from 


11, St. James's Place, 1st Nov. 1783. 
My Dear Northing ton, 
I believe it is a better excuse, and I am sure it is a truer 
one, for having so long postponed my letter to you, — to 
say, that it is owing to idleness rather than business. 
The few moments one has just before the opening of the 
most terrific Session of Parliament that ever was held, are 
too valuable to be employed in anything that looks so very 
like business as writing. Since my return from New- 
market, I have put off writing from day to day, in order to 
be more perfectly master of those topics on which I mean 
to write to you, and which are of infinite importance, not 
only to the credit of our administration, but to the well- 
being of the country. 

And first with respect to the Volunteers and their 
delegates. I want words to express to you how critical, 
in the genuine sense of the word, I conceive the present 
moment to be : unless they dissolve in a reasonable 
time, Government, and even the name of it, must be at 
an end. This, I think, will hardly be disputed. Now 
it appears to me, that upon the event of this present 




Session of your Parliament this question will entirely 
depend. If they are treated as they ought to be — if you 
shew firmness, and that firmness is seconded by the aristo- 
cracy and Parliament — I look to their dissolution as a 
certain and not very distant event; if otherwise, I reckon 
their Government, or rather Anarchy, as firmly established 
as such a thing is capable of being. But your Govern- 
ment is certainly completely annihilated. If you ask me 
what I mean by firmness, I have no scruple in saying that 
I mean it in the strictest sense, and understand by it the 
determination not to be swayed in the slightest degree by 
the Volunteers, not even to attend to any petition that 
may come from them. This sounds violent; but 1 am clear 
it is right ; for if they can pretend, with any plausibility, 
that they have carried any one point, it will be a motive 
for their continuing in their present state, and they will 
argue thus: " We carried this this year, let us go on as 
we have done, and we shall carry some other point in the 
next." Immense concessions were made in the Duke of 
Portland's time, and these concessions were declared by an 
almost unanimous House of Commons to be sufficient. 
The account must be considered as having been closed on 
the day of that vote, and should never again be opened 
upon any pretence whatsoever. 

It is true that the bill ice passed here last year does 
not agree with my system ; but you know the history 
of that bill, and the stage in which it was when we 
came in, otherwise I am satisfied it never would have 
passed ; at least, I am sure it could not, without the 
strongest opposition from the Duke of Portland and 
me. It is possible I may be told these are fine words, 
but that to act up to them is impossible. It may be so ; 
but every information I have had from Ireland leads me to 
think that the spirit and firmness of the aristocracy will 



depend entirely on the degree shewn of it in the Castle. 
Recollect that this is a crisis. Peace is the natural period 
of the Volunteers, and if they are encouraged to subsist for 
any considerable period after this time, all is gone, and our 
connexion with Ireland is worse than none at all 

I have so high an opinion of Grattan's integrity and love 
of his country, that I cannot persuade myself that he can see 
the present situation in any other light than that in which 
I do. Volunteers, and soon, possibly, volunteers without 
property, will be the only Government in Ireland, unless 
they are faced this year in a manful manner ; and there is 
no man, in conscience and honour, so much bound to face 
them as Grattan himself. He has employed a dangerous 
instrument for honourable purposes. Now that these 
purposes are fully answered by his own declaration, in the 
vote before alluded to, is he not peculiarly bound to take 
care that so dangerous a weapon should no longer remain 
in unskilful, or perhaps wicked hands, to be employed for 
objects as bad as his were just and honourable? England 
justly relied much on his opinion that they would be 
satisfactory in making the concessions in 1782, and there- 
fore he is bound to England for the Irish part of the 
bargain, which was nothing more than to be satisfied. I 
heard with great satisfaction from Serjeant Adair that 
Grattan, though a friend to the Parliamentary Reform, 
would take a wise distinction upon the manner in which it 
comes to the consideration of Parliament, and oppose it 
steadily upon that ground ; but from what the Duke of 
Portland read to me from Pelham's letter, I do not think 
this appears quite so certain. I know your natural inclina- 
tion is to firmness, perhaps much more so than mine is, 
and therefore I hope all I have said on the subject is super- 
fluous ; but I am so perfectly convinced this is the crisis of 
the fate of Ireland, that I cannot help dwelling upon it. 




The Volunteers never were, depend on it, so consi- 
derable as they were represented. Their having chosen a 
madman* for their head, of whose honesty too there is one 
opinion, and their having laid their chief stress upon a 
point on which there is so much real difference of opinion 
in both countries, and which militates as much against the 
interest of the prevailing influences in Parliament, are cir- 
cumstances which must have weakened them. If they are 
resisted, I am satisfied they will be defeated, and I cannot 
bring myself to think that much is risked in the trial ; for 
if they are suffered to carry their points by timidity and 
acquiescence, it is as much over with English Government 
in Ireland, in my judgment, as if they had carried them by 

All other points appear to me to be trifling in com- 
parison of this great one of the Volunteers ; but I will 
trouble you with a few observations upon some other. In 
regard to annual sessions, I own, I do not think they are 
so very material, and in some respects perhaps I see some 
advantages arising to Government from them. You must 
have misunderstood Lord Xorth if you considered yourself 
either as precluded from consenting to them, or even from 
proposing them by your friends in Parliament. The 
propriety of such a measure was meant to be left to your 
discretion; but it was the mentioning them in your speech 
that was objected to, and I own I concurred in this objec- 
tion. But if I imagined that you thought this form of 
proposing them to be as material as I now suspect you 
did, I should have been of another opinion. I wish, there- 
fore, for the future, when you write for instructions on 
material points — that you and Pelham would write a private 
letter to the Duke of Portland or me, letting us know how 
far you consider each point as important to your plans or 

* The Bishop of Deny. 



arrangements. If we considered that you conceived the 
mentioning that point in your speech to be of this nature, 
I have no doubt but your instructions would have been 
agreeable to your wishes. 

With respect to some other points which have been 
discussed amongst us to-day, perhaps the same obser- 
vation will hold. I own I think the production of 
Pinto's paper* to the House formally a very excep- 
tionable measure ; but if you, on the spot, judge it 
necessary, my opinion will alter. However, I must say 
that it would be a very dangerous precedent, and tend 
very much to embarrass persons in my situation in all 
future negociations. You will understand, however, that 
my objection is to the formal production of it. I have no 
objection whatever to Pelham's informing the House cor- 
rectly of all that has passed, and even reading Pinto's 
memorial, as part of his speech, if he chooses it. My 
objection is to the grounding of a proceeding upon a 
memorial of a foreign minister, which, in my opinion, 
ought never to be done except in cases of going to war, or 
of censuring a minister. However, this may be given up 
to any necessary conveniency, though certainly it ought 
not to be done; but no conveniency would justify, in my 
opinion, the laying before Parliament the definitive treaties, 
preliminaries, &c. &c. And if they are now produced, who 
can say they shall not be discussed, and addresses shall 
not be moved on them, and that the opinions of the two 
kingdoms who made them be diametrically opposite ? 
The responsibility here can only be to the British Par- 
liament ; and to lay treaties before an assembly to whom we 
are not responsible, would only be an idle compliment at 
least, but might be in the end productive of some of the 
worst consequences, which are to be found under the 
* This relates to the trade with Portugal. 



peculiar relations in which the two kingdoms now stand 
one to another. 

I hope, my dear Northington, you will not consider this 
long letter as meant to blame your conduct ; but I think I 
owe it as much to my friendship for you as to the public, to 
give you fairly my opinion and advice in your most arduous 
situation ; and I will fairly own that there is one principle 
which seems to run through your different dispatches, 
which a little alarms me : it is this — you seem to think as 
if it were absolutely necessary at the outset of your govern- 
ment, to do something that may appear to be obtaining 
boons, however trifling to Ireland ; and what I confess I 
like still less, is to see that this is in some degree grounded 
upon the ampleness of former concession. Now I see this 
in quite a different light, and reason that because these 
concessions were so ample, no further ones are necessary. 
If, because the Duke of Portland gave much, are you to 
give something ? — Consider how this reasoning will apply 
to your successor. I repeat it again, the account must be 
considered as closed in 1782. Ireland has no right to ex- 
pect from any Lord Lieutenant to carry any more points for 
her. Convenient and proper regulations will always be 
adopted for their own sakes, and stand upon their own 
ground. But boons, gifts, and compliments, Ireland has no 
right to expect. She has more to fear from us than we 
from her. Her linen trade, which is her staple, depends 
entirely on the protection of this country. I do not mean 
by saying this, that menaces ought to be used, but neither 
ought we, in our present situation, to pay her too much 
court. This country is reduced low enough, God knows; 
but depend on it, if we shall be tried — if, year after year 
we are to hear of granting something new, or acquiescing 
in something new for the sake of pleasing Ireland, I am 
sure you must feel as I do on the subject. But situated 



as you are among Irishmen, who, next to a job for them- 
selves, love nothing so well as a job for their country, and 
hardly ever seeing any one who talks to you soundly on 
our side of the question, it is next to impossible but you 
must fall insensibly into Irish ideas, more than we who see 
the converse of the picture, and who, of course, are much 
more sensible to the reproaches of this country than of that. 
Ireland appears to me now, to be like one of her most 
eminent jobbers, who, after having obtained the Prime Ser- 
jeantcy, the Secretaryship of State, and twenty other great 
places, insisted upon the Lord-Lieutenant adding a Major's 
half pay to the rest of his emoluments. # I hear many of our 
friends disapprove of the idea of advancing Scott and 
Fitzgibbon : you know I am no enemy to coalitions ; but 
take care, when you are giving great things to oblige those 
to whom you are giving them, that you do not strengthen 
an enemy instead of gaining a friend. 

I repeat it again, my dear Northington, if anything 
should appear in this long and hastily written letter, bear- 
ing some shades of dissatisfaction, you will attribute it to 
the earnest manner in which I am used to write and to 
speak, and to the sincerity and openness I owe you. 

I have no doubt you have done what is best, but the 
times are so critical that I cannot help speaking anxiously 
and eagerly, on points on which, in my judgment, depend 
the future happiness of both kingdoms. 

I am very sincerely, my dear Northington, 


C. J. Fox. 


7th Nov. 1783. 

I return you my thanks, my dear Burgoyne, for your 
* Hutchinson ; but this is an exaggerated statement. 



account of Grattan and Flood. We do not here, at this 
instant, know any thing further of the affair, but it seems 
to be the general opinion that it must terminate in a duel. 

Now, as to the Irish affairs, upon which my opinion is as 
decided as possible, and on which I can therefore write 
without hesitation. If either the parliamentary reform, 
in any shape, however modified, or any other point claimed 
by the Bishop of Derry and his Volunteers, be conceded, 
Ireland is irretrievably lost for ever ; — and this would be 
my opinion, if I were as fond of the measures themselves as 
their most enthusiastic admirers. The question is not whe- 
ther this or that measure shall take place, but whether the 
Constitution of Ireland, which Irish patriots are so proud 
of having established, shall exist, or whether the Govern- 
ment shall be purely military, as ever it was under the 
Praetorian bands. If the Volunteers are baffled, they 
must, in the nature of things, dissolve, or bring it to an 
immediate crisis, — upon the event of which, supposing 
Parliament to be silent, I do not believe that you can 
entertain any serious apprehension. If, on the contrary, 
they prevail on any one point, it will be a rational and a 
forcible motive for their continuing till another session, 
in order to gain others ; and so on to the end of the chapter, 
as long as human ingenuity can discover anything to 
complain of. I will fairly own that I am exceedingly con- 
cerned to find a distinction taken on the mode in which 
they may or may not apply to Parliament. If they should 
petition in the most humble strain, it would, in my 
opinion, make no difference ; and there can be but one 
measure, either for dignity or safety, and that measure, from 
Serjeant Adair's report, I am now led to hope could be 
taken. I am therefore the more disappointed at finding 
so little prospect of its taking place, from the letters I have 
lately seen from Dublin. The measure I mean is a decla- 


ration against men taking into consideration the request 
of persons met in arras in Dublin, for the avowed purpose 
of obtaining their ends by force. I say avowed, because 
however humble their application may be, they have 
avowed their intentions by their resolutions. If Grattan, 
or any others, feel any difficulty in treating the Volunteers 
in this tone, from the use they formerly made of them, I 
must say, their feelings are not only different from mine, 
but diametrically opposite. Those who have used dan- 
gerous weapons for good purposes, are most bound to take 
care, when the object is attained, that no bad is made of 
those weapons. I presume what Grattan meant, and all 
the real patriots with him, was, that Ireland should be 
free. How will their purposes be answered, and what will 
they not feel themselves responsible for, if the means they 
used for obtaining liberty are converted into engines of 
tyranny, in its worst shape? Did they not make that 
very round demand in 1782, and did not England make 
that ample and correspondent concession, for the direct 
and avowed purpose of precluding the necessity of future 
demands and concessions ? and was it not fairly to be un- 
derstood that after the settlement which then took place, 
no grievance remained of a nature to justify any forcible 
or unconstitutional exertions ? Was not this expressed in 
nearly the unanimous vote of Parliament ? And are not 
those most peculiarly bound to support that vote, who 
have produced the situation of things which made that 
vote a truth? If it be said, that this is no question 
between England and Ireland, and consequently that the 
vote does not apply to it, I answer, that nothing but a 
question between the two countries can justify the mode 
of proceeding by volunteers, and especially when no actual 
grievance exists ; and when there is not the least ground 
for accusing the House of Commons, hitherto untried, of 




inattention to the wishes of their constituents. In one 
word, are any of the points in question of sufficient im- 
portance to balance the inconvenience and danger of an 
armed force like the volunteers? If they are not, it 
matters not whether they are right or wrong in them- 
selves ; they should be rejected as long as they are asked 
in a manner which is of so much more consequence than 
the matter of anything now in question. 

I have already written to Northington my thoughts 
very fully ; and you will see by my labouring the points 
so much, how very anxious they are upon this subject. 
It is a crisis, you may depend upon it. I firmly believe 
that a proper spirit exerted now, is the only possible 
chance of saving us from a total separation, or civil 
tear — between which two evils I have not the firmness 
to choose. 

I could write on for ever on this subject, for it is in my 
heart as much as it is in my head. The thought of this 
country receiving her final stroke of annihilation in my 
administration, is more than I am able to bear ; and that 
it will do so, I am convinced, if you relax in any degree. 
You suppose me to know more than I do of your plans of 
government. I know nothing of them. I do not say this 
as meaning to blame ; but Northington and Pelham are 
too much taken up to write private letters to the Duke of 
Portland or me. And in the public letters there is little 
respecting future plans. I am sure the Lord Lieutenant 
is a man of spirit, and on this I ground my hopes, for I 
have none from the spirit of the Irish gentlemen, who 
ought to feel themselves still more concerned than we are 
in the event. They will all give timid advice ; but if firm- 
ness is shewn at the Castle, they would be loth to advise. 

Adieu, my dear Burgoyne. I would not have tired you 
with long prose if I had thought less seriously than I do 

I 2 



upon the present crisis. Believe me, most sincerely and 
affectionately yours, Chas. Jas. Fox. 

On the 10th of November, 160 delegates from 
the Volunteer Associations of Ireland assembled 
at the Exchange of Dublin, Lord Bristol (Bishop of 
Derry) appearing among them in great state and 
parade ; from thence they proceeded to the Ro- 
tunda through ranks of volunteers, who lined the 
streets, with arms presented and colours flying. 
Lord Charlemont very fortunately was elected 
Chairman of the Convention. Mr. Flood, though 
unwell, attended. The Bishop of Derry proposed 
that a committee of one member from each county 
should draw up a plan of reform, which was after- 
wards to be submitted to the Convention. This 
was agreed to. 

The next day, when the meeting assembled, 
the seeds of dissension, which had been sown 
with much industry for the purpose of embarras- 
sing their proceedings, now began to show 
themselves. Mr. Ogle stated that he had re- 
ceived a letter from a Roman Catholic peer, Lord 
Kenmare, purporting, as he said, to express the 
sentiments of the Roman Catholics in general, 
and that they were willing to relinquish all idea of 
pressing any further claim on the Legislature. 
This arrangement arose from the interference of 
Sir Boyle Roche and some of the partizans of the 
Government. Mr. Ogle was not friendly to the 
Roman Catholics, and Lord Kenmare was a weak 

chap, iv.] sir b. roche's manoeuvre. 


man. This was one of the many instances prov- 
ing how easily some Roman Catholics could be 
duped, and their rights be made a plaything in 
the hands of insincere friends, or real enemies ; 
and this is now fully confirmed by the disclo- 
sures of Lord Northington's letter of the 17th 
of November to Mr. Fox. 

However, on the third meeting of the Con- 
vention, an explanation on this subject was made 
by Sir Boyle Roche, who then held the office 
of Chamberlain at the Castle, and was of some 
repute as the Jester of the House of Com- 
mons, and certainly a person well calculated 
to throw a ludicrous light on any subject. He 
stated that the message which Mr. Ogle had 
brought from Lord Kenmare had been communi- 
cated by him, and to the following effect : — That 
having heard it was intended to be moved in that 
assembly that the Roman Catholics should be 
admitted to a share in the Legislature, by a parti- 
cipation of the right of voting for members of Par- 
liament, he had come, on the part of Lord Ken- 
mare and others of his particular friends of the 
same persuasion, to disavow on their part any 
wish of being concerned in the business of elec- 
tions ; at the same time, they desired to return 
thanks to those gentlemen who intended to have 
interested themselves in their behalf ; but fully 
sensible of the favours which had been already 
bestowed on them by Parliament, their only desire 


at this time was to enjoy them in peace, without 
seeking in the present distracted state of affairs to 
raise jealousies, and farther embarrass the nation 
by asking for new ones. After this declaration 
had been read, the Bishop of Bristol submitted to 
the consideration of the Convention, a paper 
wholly at variance with it. 

November 11, 1783. 

At a meeting of the general committee of the Roman 
Catholics of Ireland, Sir Patrick Bellew, Bart., in the 
chair, it was unanimously resolved that the message relat- 
ing to us delivered this morning to the National Conven- 
tion was totally unknown to and unauthorized by us. 

That we do not so widely differ from the rest of man- 
kind as by our own act to prevent the removal of our 

That we will receive with gratitude every indulgence 
that may be extended to us by the Legislature, and are 
thankful to our benevolent countrymen for their generous 
efforts in our behalf. 

Resolved, That Sir Patrick Bellew be requested to pre- 
sent the foregoing resolutions to the Earl of Bristol, as the 
act of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and entreat that 
his Lordship will be pleased to communicate them to the 
National Convention. 

This very proper, sensible, and just declaration, 
was laid upon the table. Some difference of 
opinion arose, and much embarrassment was 
likely to ensue, the more so as it appeared Lord 
Kenmare had disavowed what Sir Boyle Roche 



had stated. The Convention, however, very pru- 
dently adjourned the consideration of the subject, 
and it was not afterwards renewed. Thus they 
steered clear of a very great difficulty : they 
avoided the Catholic question, and escaped the 
snare that had been laid for them. Lord Ken- 
mare's letter on the subject was rather singular, 
and not very explicit : — 

November 20, 1783. 
I utterly disavow having given the least authority to 
any person for making use of my name before the National 
Convention, now assembled in Dublin. I never was con- 
sulted, nor did I ever consult with any person on the expec- 
tation of future indulgences to the Roman Catholics this 
session, being resolved to abide contented by whatever the 
wisdom of the Legislature should in that case determine, 
grateful for the past, and resigned to future events. 


Shortly afterwards Sir Boyle Roche gave the 
following extraordinary account of his conduct 
in the transaction : — 

Dear Sir, 

As much has been said in regard to the message I deli- 
vered in the name of Lord Kenmare, and many of my near 
connections of the same persuasion, to the armed Conven- 
tion, now that that assembly has for some time broken up, 
and the violence of party in some measure subsided, I 
think it incumbent on me to explain my conduct on 
that occasion to my friends, and to yourself in parti- 


sir b. roche's 

[chap. IV. 

I had long observed the court which was paid by a cer- 
tain party to the Roman Catholics, and had remarked, 
with concern, the facility with which the lower sort suf- 
fered themselves to be duped by the insidious pretences of 
those who, I believe, meant them no other favour but that 
of being last devoured. The Bishop of Derry and his 
associates had made them to believe that the resolutions of 
the Convention were to be the law of the land ; and they 
were taught to look up to that assembly for those future 
favours which the legislative body, from whom they had 
already received so many indulgences, had alone a power 
to grant; but these indulgences they were encouraged to 
forget, and to found their future hopes of success on 
the wild projects of the Bishop of Derry and his asso- 

On the evening of the 9th November last, I had cer- 
tain intelligence, that the Bishop of Derry had leagued 
himself with some of the unthinking part of the Catholics, 
who were in town for the purpose ; and that the admission 
of that body to the rights of voting for members of Parlia- 
ment, was to be the first matter agitated in the Convention. 
I now thought that the crisis was arrived, in which Lord 
Kenmare and the heads of that body should step forth to 
disavow those wild projects, and to profess their attach- 
ment to the lawful powers. Unfortunately, his lordship 
was at a great distance ; and most of my other noble 
friends were out of the way. I, therefore, resolved on a 
bold stroke ; and authorised only by a knowledge of the 
sentiments of the persons in question, I entered the Con- 
vention on the first day of its meeting, and there delivered 
that message to Lord Charlemont, of which you have seen 
so full an account • and confirmed the same the Friday 
following, having obtained permission to address the 




At first, I was elated to the greatest degree, at the ap- 
parent success of my undertaking. I found that I had 
entirely disconcerted the measures of the leaders of the 
Convention ; and though I was disavowed by the Roman 
Catholic committee, I received the thanks of many of my 
noble friends. I was applauded by the Lord Lieutenant, 
the Secretary, and all the men in power ; and I found by 
their discourse, that there was nothing consistent with the 
constitution, that the Roman Catholics, for the sake of 
Lord Ken ma re and his friends, might not expect from 

But unhappily, the clamour of the deluded populace in- 
duced his lordship to disown me. I cannot blame him — 
he had in strictness, a right to do so. This made me 
miserable, not only because 1 had displeased him, but be- 
cause I feared that he and the rest of the Catholics had 
by this means forfeited the advantages I had obtained for 
them. However, in these mortifying circumstances, it was 
still a consolation to me to find that his lordship, in the 
very words of his disavowal, had acknowledged the same 
sentiments I had declared in his name ; and as I know he 
and his friends still adhere to the same moderate opinions 
and wishes, I flatter myself that their wisdom will prevail 
over the deluded multitude, and that Government will for 
their sake further extend its indulgence to the whole 
body ; especially if the heads of the sect could be induced, 
on the arrival of a new Lord Lieutenant, or on the establish- 
ment of the present one, to join in an address, not only of 
loyalty to the King, but of attachment to the present con- 
stitution without innovation. 

It would be flattering in the highest degree to me, if I 
should find that my conduct was not disapproved by your- 
self and friends, and that you joined me in opinion, that it 
is to the Parliament alone, that the Roman Catholics 



should apply for future powers ; and as I have again the 
honour to be a member of that assembly, my endeavours 
shall be at all times, as before, exerted in their behalf, and 
1 hope not without success. I have the honour to be, 
My dear Sir, 
Your most obedient humble servant, 

Dublin Castle, 14th Feb. 1784. B. Roche. 

The object of this underhand and discreditable 
proceeding, was to embarrass the Convention ; 
to prevent the Catholics from joining it, or taking 
part in the question of Reform. But although 
there was in that assembly a difference of opinion 
respecting their claims, yet there existed much 
liberality and a friendly disposition towards the 
Catholics. This was apparent on the occasion of 
Doctor O'Leary's visit, when the Volunteer Guard 
turned out and received him with presented arms. 
He was introduced with much ceremony, and 
amidst loud cheers, and warmly applauded by 
several of the speakers. 

Adopting the forms of Parliament, the Conven- 
tion then resolved itself into t( a committee of the 
whole House," to receive the resolutions of the 
sub-committee, which were to be the basis of the 
Reform, the consideration of which occupied nine 
days. The Bishop of Derry was disappointed in 
not being selected chairman, but his politics were 
considered too violent. The individuals who took 
the most active part, were Mr. Flood, the Bishop 
of Derry, Mr. Ogle, Lord Farnham, Mr. Brown- 


low, Mr. Stewart (of Killymoon), Mr. Edgeworth, 
Mr. Bagnall, and Sir Edward Newenham. 

Pending the debates, a question arose respecting 
the compensation which might be expected to be 
given for the loss of boroughs ; on which occasion 
the individuals who were members of the Conven- 
tion, and who were possessed of that species of 
property, — for so it was considered, — voluntarily 
offered to throw them open to the people. These 
were Lord Charlemont, Lord Aldborough, Sir 
Vesey Colclough, the Hon. Hugh Massey, Mr. 
Barnard, and Mr. Flood. Such was the effect of 
a strong popular feeling operating upon generous 
minds. How different from the proceedings adopted 
a few years after, when fifteen thousand pounds 
a-piece was given to the borough-holders, and a 
million and a half was thus paid for the pur- 
chase of the Parliament, and the sale of the 
country !* 

The thanks of the Convention were returned to 
these individuals for their public spirited conduct. 
At length the resolutions which were to form the 
ground-work of the Bill were adopted, and Mr. 
Flood was requested to introduce into Parliament 
a Bill for the more equal representation of the 
people ; he accordingly said that he would on the 
ensuing day move in the House of Commons for 
leave to bring it in ; and, to add dignity to 

* One of the modes by which Lord Clare and Lord Castlereagh 
carried the Union. 



their measures, he hoped they would remain in 
solemn assembly till he came back from the 
House. This, however, they very wisely declined 
to do, as the House of Commons remained in 
debate the entire of the night, and sat even part 
of Sunday morning. 

Mr. Flood's . idea was, that the Convention 
should not be dissolved ; on the contrary, he stated 
that the delegates in the different provinces should 
send up information, and from their local know- 
ledge, advise the delegates in the Convention to 
instruct the members carrying on the bill : " Let 
50,000 armed men," he exclaimed, " followed by 
50,000 more, without the voice of faction, follow 
up their principle." These sentiments of Mr. 
Flood seemed rather strong, even for the Bishop 
of Derry ; and he observed, that the matter was to 
be agitated in another assembly, and that some- 
thing ought to be left to their discretion. 

In the measure of reform proposed, there were 
some good points, but on the whole it was singu- 
larly deficient. What it omitted is as remarkable 
as what it adopted. It excluded the Catholics, the 
great and increasing body of the people, from vot- 
ing as electors, as well as from sitting as members ; 
it admitted leaseholders to vote in towns, but not 
in counties; it limited the duration of Parliament 
to three years ; it excluded persons holding pen- 
sions during pleasure ; it rejected the voting by 
ballot, and imposed an oath against bribery, to be 


administered to each member before he took his 

Mr. Flood was supposed to have been the chief 
framer of this measure ; and it is worthy of re- 
mark, that he afterwards proposed in the English 
House a proposition for parliamentary reform, 
which Mr. Fox pronounced the best that had been 
yet suggested ; but the great error of Mr. Flood's 
Irish plan was, that it excluded the people, and to 
such a degree, that all the voters it proposed to 
admit would probably not have amounted to more 
than 300 in the North of Ireland, and about 100 
in the South ; which would in fact have been no 
constituency at all : it would have ceased to be a 
monopoly ; it might have been an oligarchy ; but 
it certainly would not have been popular repre- 


Royal Hospital, Nov, 8th, 1783. 
My Dear Charles, 
It is thought advisable by all the defenders of Government 
that I should be present here for the purpose of their con- 
sulting me personally, should occasion require. The 
convention of the delegates begins the same time, and 
were any disturbance to arise among the populace, Lord 
Northington, I know, would wish for my presence. I have 
the utmost satisfaction in adding my fullest confidence 
that nothing unpleasing to Government is to be appre- 
hended. The Bishop of Derry has found very little 
encouragement in his progress, and was received with 
gaping coldness, at the least, and in some streets with 
derision. There is great alarm, much discord of opinion, 




and some evident despair, among the parties ; and the 
general opinion is that, amidst the various discussions, 
among which many will be very wild, they will throw the 
business back again upon county meetings. I hear to-day 
that the Bishop talks of leaving Dublin before the end of 
the week. 

Lord Northington tells me the apprehensions respecting 
the Volunteers are strong in London. I hear from others 
that reports have been circulated of insults offered to the 
regiments landed in the north. It is so much the reverse 
that every regiment is full of acknowledgment for the 
cordiality of their reception. Both men and officers have 
received free quarters from the inhabitants in every place, 
and perfect cordiality in all. — Most faithfully yours, 

J. Burgoyne. 

On the 10th of November, Lord Northington 
wrote to Mr. Fox that the delegates were in con- 
sultation, that the Bishop was not espoused by 
the populace, and that he was much chagrined 
at it. 


Uth Nov., 1783. 

Dear Northington, 
We shall be impatient to hear further accounts of the 
delegates; and in the meantime I am infinitely pleased to 
hear that the Bishop of Derry is disappointed in his hopes 
from the populace; and I feel much disposed to be san- 
guine on the affairs in general, provided always that the 
proper spirit is shewn, and that Grattan acts as he ought. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Chas. Jas. Fox. 




(Private) Royal Hospital, Nov. 17th, 1783. 

I had yesterday a very long conversation with Lord Nor- 
thington, in which he communicated to me all you 
had written relative to this strange crisis. I neither doubt 
his capacity nor his spirit ; but I believe the true reasons 
for his not taking up the matter in Parliament have been 
— first, the backwardness of those who ought to have 
taken the lead in the House ; next, the weak state of the 
military force till very lately; and lastly, that the meeting of 
the delegates had appearances of such diversity of senti- 
ment and jarring interests, as would effectuate its own 
speedy dissolution ; and should it not, it was thought to 
be time for Parliament to come forward with a declaration, 
on whatever manner the convention proceeded. I believe 
Lord North ington and Pelham, and a great and respectable 
majority of both Houses, to be firm with you in the argu- 
ment you urge with such insurmountable force — that the 
request of persons in arms, and under various circum- 
stances of the volunteer delegates, however humble they 
may be, cannot be taken into consideration. 

Lord Bristol is certainly dispirited and mortified. There 
is no popular cry in his favour. He has few or no visitants. 
He could not obtain the chair in the sub-committee, nor 
even among the most desperate of his party can there be 
discovered any spirit that can flatter a conspirator. 

The embarrassments and confusion in Dublin augment 
daily. Flood has been forced by importunity that would 
receive no denial, to appear in his robes of flannel ; but 
when pressed for assistance, he wrapped himself up still 
more closely in caution, and obscurity, and half-sentences. 
He acknowledged his favourable wishes for a Parliamentary 
Reform, and the having given great attention to it, as an 




abstract and theoretical question ; but declared he had 
never seen a plan of reform, from Mr. Locke's time to the 
present, that was not objectionable. No one can suppose 
his designs friendly to Government • but whatever they 
may be, they do not at present tend to encourage the 
violent party. 

A greater embarrassment yet has arisen in the Conven- 
tion, which you will see in print, viz. the interference, but 
of different principles, of the Catholics. By the mouth of 
Lord Kenmare they relinquish their pretensions to suffrages 
at elections ; by the mouth of Sir Patrick Bellew they 
assert them. I wish they did more humbly, for I am 
clearly of opinion that alarm is felt of the increase of the 
Catholic interest and prevalence beyond the present limits, 
which give them, in the general opinion, all the share of 
rights necessary for their happiness, and consistent with 
the -safety of their Protestant fellow-subjects. Every idea 
of the extension of their claims excites new dread and 
jealousy of the Volunteers, and cements and animates the 
real friends of the Constitution. And surely, with reason, for 
upon the very principle of free and conscientious suffrage, 
nothing can be more impossible than a Protestant repre- 
sentation chosen by Catholic electors. Can any man give 
the Catholic a right of voting, and doubt of the subversion 
of the Church establishment as a natural, if not an imme- 
diate consequence ? The very basis of the Brunswick 
House, the Protestant interest of Europe, is threatened. — 
You will pardon this digression. 

The report is, that the Committee have determined on a 
plan, in which the Catholics are excluded, and which will 
be ready to be laid before the Convention on Tuesday next. 
The common opinion is, either that the Convention will 
break up, or they will tread back their former steps, refer 
the plan back to the people at large, and petition Parlia- 



ment, and instruct men from county meetings in brown 

I found Ogle, who dined with me yesterday, sanguine 
in this expectation, and he, and all others who admired 
silence in Parliament, till on a particular common ground, 
plumed themselves upon the prudence of the measure, and 
think the Parliament is now out of the scrape. 

Another curious circumstance has arisen, that may in a 
few days produce a decisive explanation between Parlia- 
ment and the delegates. The election committee on the 
Down Petition have reported it frivolous and vexatious. 
The House have sentenced them to pay costs, and meaning 
to censure the other petitioners at the bar, have ordered 
them to attend in custody. Some of the petitioners are 
delegates, and, I hear, will resist, and that they will be 
supported in so doing by Brownlow. Some imagine they 
will set up privilege or representation against the authority 
of the old House of Commons. I hardly believe they will 
be so counselled, but I think it likely they will take up the 
old ground of the printers in London, and deny the power 
of the House of Commons to attach the person of the sub- 
ject at large. I am, truly yours, 

J. Burgoyne. 


Dublin Castle, Nov. llth, 1783. 

My Dear Fox ; 
I agree in opinion with you, that nothing could happen 
more disgraceful to a government, or which, at first view, 
carries with it more of danger and mischief, than the 
meeting of the present Convention, its continuance, and 
the object of its consideration. I have looked on with infi- 
nite concern and anxiety, and have watched its motions 
and proceedings with the utmost vigilance and care. I 




am not disposed, however, to be equally apprehensive as 
yourself of the consequences which it may produce ; it is 
composed of such an heterogeneous set, of characters, views, 
and principles so different, that its resolutions are not likely 
to be such as will cause embarrassment and distress to 
Government. I am thoroughly disposed to meet with firm- 
ness, and oppose with resolution, whenever Government 
can properly act ; but, in my opinion, that period is not 
yet arrived. If you consider the consequence and credit 
these Volunteers have obtained, at the time those great 
concessions were made in the Duke of Portland's admi- 
nistration, — that the address of the two Houses of Parlia- 
ment was carried up between rows of Volunteers under arms, 
that our friend Richard* then Secretary, in an interruption 
of a debate, acquainting the House of Commons with the 
Duke of Portland's waiting for them, assigned as an ad- 
ditional apology, that there was a number of worthy and 
respectable men under arms to do honour to the business 
of that day ; — that they have received three times the thanks 
of Parliament for their good conduct ; — when you con- 
sider the pains which have been taken with so much 
industry and success, to create fresh discontents among 
the Volunteers, — the court which Lord Temple paid them, 
— the bill which passed the English Parliament to quiet 
their alarms, and which they consider as obtained by their 
exertions; — after a mature consideration of these matters, 
you will not be surprised that the idea of Government's 
interfering to prevent their meeting met with no advocate 
to support it, nor any man hardy enough to avow the re- 
commendation of it ; it was, therefore, inexpedient to at- 
tempt to do what was not likely to be attended with any 
salutary effects. 

The next step was to try, by means of our friends in this 

* Mr. Fitzpatrick. 




assembly, to perplex its proceedings, and to create con- 
fusion in their deliberations, in order to bring their meeting 
into contempt, and to create a necessity of its dissolving 
itself. This method had considerable effect. They are 
strongly embarrassed by a multiplicity of plans, and are 
much alarmed by the Roman Catholics claiming a right 
to vote ; a wish which the most respectable of that per- 
suasion disavow and disapprove of, and many have already 
retired to their homes disgusted. 

Another desirable step, was to involve them, if possible, 
in a dispute with the House of Commons, and to create 
the necessity of a declaration of the House, to support the 
dignity of Parliament and to maintain its rights ; it was 
imagined a favourable opportunity would have presented 
itself upon the Down Petition, which, however, by a re- 
conciliation between the parties was avoided. 

It is with pleasure I assure you, that few men entertain 
any apprehension of mischief from this meeting. Friends 
of all denominations, new and old, agree that no conse- 
quences are to be feared ; that it will end in confusion, and 
contempt will attend its fall. The measure now in con- 
templation, is the sending the plan which may be agreed 
on to the different counties, to have meetings of free- 
holders called, and to instruct the members to vote for it. 
If it ever gets into such hands, there will be no occasion 
for conventional meetings. 

Mr. Flood has shewn much disinclination to attend 
these meetings, but he has been frequently summoned ; the 
advice he has given — being frequently called on so to do — 
was to take up every plan which had been delivered, to 
strike out every exceptionable part of each, mix up the 
whole together, and to let it go down to the counties as a 
mass of information for the counties to deliberate upon. 
He declared his reverence for the old Constitution, that it 

k 2 



could not be touched without infinite hazard, and if he had 
not been pressed, would have avoided giving any plan or 
assistance to them. 

Nov. 18th. 

Nothing is more true, than that the House of Commons 
passed almost an unanimous vote of satisfaction at the close 
of the last session ; yet it is equally true, that satisfaction 
was of short duration, and that new dissatisfaction suc- 
ceeded almost immediately. This was pretty general ; so 
that in the opinion of the public at large, and in some 
measure, of Parliament, that vote is nearly obsolete. In their 
opinion many things still remained to be arranged, and 
particularly, objects of regulation, which the friends of 
Government had pledged themselves to, when in opposition, 
were supposed by them to be reserved for a settlement, at 
a period which would afford more leisure than the con- 
clusion of a session. 

I cannot think that it can be the intention of the 
Cabinet to give me a discretionary power with regard to 
annual sessions, nor that the expressions used by Lord 
North in his despatch did by any means convey such a 
meaning. " The innumerable inconveniences of annual 
sessions of Parliament must be obvious to your Excellency, 
and how much they outweigh the advantages expected 
from them. As to the pretence used by the supporters of 
provincial meetings, it is so mere a pretence, that it cannot 
be considered as a reason for any alteration of consequence. 
His Majesty's servants wish, therefore, that the grants of 
money may be made as usual for two years. Perhaps 
your Excellency, on the fullest and most mature enquiry, 
is perfectly convinced that they cannot be obtained in the 
usual manner." 

A more decisive opinion of the impropriety of the mea- 




sure cannot be given, and the direction is positive to resist, 
and, as far as remonstrance can be useful, to defeat it. 

As far as I can state and judge, my opinion is, that 
Ireland will be most easily governed by annual meetings. 
It will knit more firmly together the supporters of Govern- 
ment, and marshal the Phalanx men more readily. You 
will not have to be making bargains for the support of 
particular sessions, after which every man is really left at 
liberty, and is to renew his agreement again ; but it will 
be a steady and a fixed support, not liable to change, and 
more to be depended on. 

As to " boons, gifts, and compliments," I do not sup- 
pose you rank, under that head, regulations which of 
necessity arise out of the new situation of Ireland : I mean 
the establishment of an Admiralty Court, Post Office, and 
annual sessions, all objects which the new constitution of 
Ireland comprehends within it. The sugar refinery was 
once an object so much at heart that my predictions have 
been verified ; and the directions of every one of the Duke 
of Portland's friends have rendered it necessary for me to 
acquiesce in placing the silk and woollen manufactures on 
a system of equalization, that is, reducing the duty in 
England on Irish woollens to the duty here on English. 
There never can exist a competition, at least for a century, 
owing to the superior skill, diligence, and capital, of 
England. Upon a non-importation agreement, which 
lasted a considerable time, the case was clearly proved, 
and the effects produced were increase of price and worse 

I must refer to my old idea, that is, that, the trade of 
Ireland being open to England, any regulations she may 
find it expedient to make must interfere with English 
trade ; and I cannot help observing that the old notions 
seem to govern even now 7 the King's councils, and that a 


strong jealousy exists about every trifling advantage that 
is likely to be gained by Ireland. 

Many of our friends, you say, have disapproved of the 
proposed arrangements for Scott and Fitzgibbon. Are 
they of this or your side of the water? If on my side, I 
can contradict it thus far — Grattan was consulted, and 
was content to act with Fitzgibbon, and has no objection 
to Scott being Prime Sergeant. The Attorney-general 
likewise approves of Fitzgibbon. He stands foremost in 
rank, abilities, and professional knowledge. It is proposed 
he should take the lead in the House of Commons. Scott's 
appointment to the Prime Sergeantcy has been warmly 
urged by Conolly and Mr. Loftus. These two are con- 
siderable friends of yours and of the Duke of Portland. 

I have a most difficult task. The country is full of 
disorder, madness, and inconsistency; deriving much of its 
inclination to disquiet from vexation — from a notion of the 
instability of Government at home, and the influence of a 
secret hand attempting to undermine Government here. I 
mean a secret hand* from a high quarter. 

In addition to all this, I must confess it is a wrong 
measure of the English Government to make this country 
the first step in politics, as it usually has been ; as I am 
sure men of abilities, knowledge, business, and experience, 
ought to be employed here, both in the capacity of Lord 
Lieutenant and Secretary ; not gentlemen taken wild from 
Brooks'sf to make their denouement in public life. 
I am, with truest regard, yours sincerely, 


* This was the secret hand that directed the proceedings against the 
Fox party on the East India Bill, and this remark shows that the 
Government were aware they possessed no friend in that quarter, and it 
should have rendered them more cautious. 

f The Club in St. James's-street. 



Interview between Lord Bristol, Bishop of Derry, and Lord Charlemont — 
Singular remarks of the former — Dinner to the Bishop at George Ro- 
bert Fitzgerald's — Attack meditated on Mr. Grattan — Intended arrest 
of the Bishop by the Privy Council — Remarks on the Debates in the 
Convention, and proceedings of the Volunteers — Their resolutions 
and plan of parliamentary reform — Mr. Flood proceeds from the 
Convention to the House — Moves to bring in a Bill of Reform — 
Violent opposition — Mr. Daly's reply to Mr. Flood — Bill rejected — 
Resolutions of the House of Commons thereon — List of division — 
Lord Lieutenant's letter to Mr. Fox respecting the debate in the 
Commons — Mr. Flood and Mr. Luttrell — Termination of the Con- 
vention — Address to the King — Sir Jonah Barrington's error in his 
history respecting Lord Charlemont — Remarks on the Volunteers — 
Mr. Flood's departure to England with the address — Takes his seat 
in the English House of Commons — Speeches on Mr. Fox's East 
India Bill — How received by the English — Attacked by General 
Luttrell — Anecdote — General Luttrell — his character — Mr. Grattan's 
remarks on Mr. Flood. 

A circumstance occurred at this time, indicative 
of the sentiments and intentions of those who now 
took a lead in public affairs and sought to direct 
the people. The Bishop of Derry had come from 
the North, accompanied by a troop of horse, 
under the command of his nephew, George Robert 
Fitzgerald ; they attended him on all occasions, 
mounted guard at his residence, and paraded the 
streets with much pomp. Thus did the Bishop 
court every popular breeze, eager for admiration 



[chap. V. 

and applause, and assuming all the airs of popu- 
larity most unbecoming his station, and in a man- 
ner at once both sacrilegious and seditious. He 
proceeded to Marino and presented himself to 
Lord Charlemont, and rubbing his hands with 
much mirth, exclaimed, "Things are going on 
well, — we shall have blood, my Lord, — we shall 
have blood !" It was said, that in one of his 
fanciful moods, he had conceived the idea of 
separating the two countries. Lord Charlemont, 
with great composure, replied — " Blood ! my 
Lord, — not a drop, my Lord, shall be shed, if I 
can help it,— no blood — that I promise you !" 
This sentiment of the Bishop was not, however, 
entertained by many ; but it is difficult to say to 
what extremes an armed body might have pro- 
ceeded, attracted by the specious allurements of 
liberty, and under the guidance of so holy an 

Another incident occurred at this time, in which 
Mr. Grattan was concerned. George Robert 
Fitzgerald gave a splendid entertainment to the 
Bishop and several of the Volunteer officers, who 
had accompanied him from Derry, and formed part 
of his suite. They wished to get Mr. Grattan to 
join in their views, and he was accordingly in- 
vited. Mr. Grattan did not belong to the Con- 
vention, and though a determined supporter of the 
independence of Ireland, was averse to the 
measures now adopted. He did not enter into 


their objects in the manner they desired, and his 
reception was necessarily cold and formal ; but 
what added to the dissatisfaction which the party 
felt, was, that a special messenger came from the 
Castle with a letter from Mr. Pelham, requesting 
Mr. Grattan to attend a meeting of the Privy 
Council, which, at that unseasonable hour, was 
to be held on urgent business. This increased 
the discontent of the party ; but the occurrence 
proved to him a matter of great importance. He 
had in his employment a faithful servant, who, 
knowing where he dined, went to inform him 
that a mob were lying in wait with intent to do 
him harm. This was communicated to Mrs. Grat- 
tan, who was very much alarmed. He, however, 
calmly left the party, and retired home. The mob 
were collected in the street at his house, very 
noisy, and very cross ; but having missed their 
object, they finally dispersed without doing any 
mischief. This, perhaps, is one of the few agree- 
able instances in which a man's life was saved by 
going to the Castle. Many have lost their cha- 
racter by going there, and it will hereafter appear, 
that if Mr. Grattan had been brought thither a 
few years subsequent, he probably would have 
found in that quarter anything but protection. 

The result of that meeting in the Council was not 
known ; but there can be little doubt that at one 
meeting, the intention of the Council was to arrest 
the Bishop. This transpired in the following 


manner : — When the Bishop was lying ill at 
Naples, Lord Northington was there. Colonel 
Fitzgerald, (Mrs. Grattan's brother,) was calling at 
the hotel where the Bishop was, when a scene 
very singular, and not very moral, took place. 
The Bishop was just receiving the sacrament, 
when a young and interesting female pressed for- 
ward to enter his apartment. She was informed it 
was impossible to see him, as the rites of the 
church were just administering. The Italian not 
understanding the ceremony, and thinking that it 
was some medicine, exclaimed, " quando avra 
passato, io entraro 9 7 / / Lord Northington and 
Colonel Fitzgerald were somewhat surprised ; 
when the former, addressing the Colonel, said, — 
"There is the Bishop. When I was Lord-lieute- 
nant in Ireland, I had the warrant in my pocket 
to arrest him for his seditious conduct and com- 
mit him to prison." 

A man who is a friend to public liberty will be 
an enemy to conventions : they supersede the 
representative body on the ground of its delin- 
quency ; they lose force by their frequency, and 
the worst of popular violence is, that if the people 
succeed, anarchy follows ; if they fail, they 
strengthen the Government. This was the case in 
the instance of the Volunteer Convention. 

In their debates every thing seemed ascribed to 
the Volunteers, — such is the vanity of public 
bodies ! They were made the subject of vehe- 



raent and undistinguishing panegyric, as fulsome 
as it was false. Nothing could be more honourable 
than their exertions, but nothing more censurable 
than the praise which excluded the Parliament 
from any share in the redemption of the country. 
History disproved it. 

The address for free trade, the vote for no taxes 
till the trade was free, the limitation of the bill of 
supply, and the address of the 16th April, 1782, — 
these were no inconsiderable items in the cata- 
logue of Parliamentary services, that should have 
inculcated confidence and satisfaction, and re- 
proached ingratitude and mutability. But the 
great objection to the style of panegyric adopted 
in the Convention, was, not only its departure 
from history, but its inflammatory tendency. It 
went to possess the Volunteers with an opinion 
that they not only acted without the assistance of 
Parliament and the higher class of men, but 
against it. It did more ; it had a tendency to ex- 
cite the Volunteers to sully by violence their past 
services, — to put down the Parliament, and put an 
army of observation over its head, — to exhort men 
to go on whom they should implore to stop, — to 
inspire the youth of the array with the vanity of 
interfering in the proceedings of Parliament, 
which they did not understand, — and render their 
debates the means of propagating a contempt for 
order ; — appointing field days after the admonition 
from Parliament, to disband, as if the duty of a 



[chap. V. 

soldier was shewn by a disregard of authority. 
Here too, as in other cases and other countries, 
there were sycophants of the mob, who sought to 
possess the people with a sense of their infal- 
libility, or rather to assert the fallibility of the 
Constitution and the infallibility of their arms. 
Their logic was a gross idea; viz. — that popular 
exertion at one time, was an argument for popular 
exertion at all times. But the cases were widely 
different ; in the great period of Irish redemption, 
the object and means were different. The means 
were more regular, the object more exalted. At 
that time the electors proceeded by instruction 
and petition, and found (a wholesome advice at 
all times) that the laws of the country had fur- 
nished her with means sufficient for the redress of 
her grievances. The Volunteers then assembled 
by corps and provincial meetings* The counties 
met, and petitioned Parliament dutifully and con- 
stitutionally. But the measures resorted to now, 
were neither instructions nor petitions, nor oc- 
casional provincial meetings; they were Parlia- 
ments. As the one period was illustrious, so was the 
other most inauspicious. The object of the former 
was to shake off the supremacy of the British 
Parliament ; — the object of the other was to re- 
form the Irish Parliament by an array. The pro- 
gress, perhaps, was natural ; but, it must be 
considered as fatal. It was a progress from a love 
of liberty, to a thirst of dominion, — from shaking 

CHAP. V.] 



off a foreign yoke to the establishment of a do- 
mestic one, — the yoke of an army, in the place of 
Government by Parliament. The Volunteers had 
certainly lined the streets in 1779, on the address 
for free trade, and so far had made a bold demon- 
stration ; but then it was for the Parliament : in 
the latter case, it was for the Convention and 
against the Parliament. The difference lay in 
supporting, and in overawing Parliament, — be- 
tween the use and the abuse of armed men. The 
original exertion was undoubtedly a revolution ; 
but one revolution is no precedent for a second, 
until the principles of the first are departed from. 
The revolution in 1688, in England, was a prece- 
dent for turning out King William, if he trod in 
the steps of King James ; — but as long as he ad- 
hered to the Declaration of Rights, it was a prece- 
dent for him ; for the essence of a revolution is not 
the commotion, but the wholesome settlement of 
liberty established thereby. And in the instance 
of the Convention the case was still stronger. The 
revolution of 1782, was not a precedent for, but 
against such proceedings ; for it went to establish 
Parliament; whereas the Convention went to su- 
persede it. 

The proceedings of this body were not consis- 
tent with law, order, or liberty : the parent of a 
stratocracy, not freedom, — they paved the way 
for the United Irishmen, and shewed from that 
moment, that the union with England was practi- 


cable. So far the House of Commons was right, 
not to accept the services of such a body to reform 
their assembly ; because, to model the legislature 
by such hands was in effect to subvert it. An 
army professing to reform a state is the subversion 
of it. When the Roman legions marched to 
Rome, they gave away the empire ; and when 
the British soldiery were poured into Ireland, in 
1799, and with drawn swords guarded the avenues 
of the two Houses, they gave away the Parlia- 
ment. The Volunteers also forgot, that there was 
not, in the history of these countries, an instance, 
where a body of men attempted to run down a 
Parliament, that they did not run down them- 

However, much was to be allowed for youth, — 
much for momentary intoxication, — much for past 
services. Their regularity, their zeal, their mode- 
ration, their alacrity to support the civil power, 
and their exertions to defend the realm, and above 
all, their respect for the sole and exclusive au- 
thority of the Irish Parliament, for a course of 
years, had been most eminently displayed ; so that 
one thing only was now necessary to complete 
their glory ; namely, that after having established 
liberty, they should retire (as Mr. Yelverton coun- 
selled them) and cultivate the blessings of peace. 
The Parliamentary constitution was the base on 
which they rested the eternity of their fame ; and 
when that was obtained, the end of their mission 



was answered. Let it further be recollected, 
that as all human excellence is dashed with in- 
firmity, so the fame of these men must submit to 
the frailty and condition of their nature. 

The following resolutions comprise the plan of 
Parliamentary Reform adopted by the Convention, 
who commenced their sittings on that question on 
the 10th of November, and closed them on the 
1st December, 17S3. 

Resolved unanimously, That no elector in any connty, 
city, town, borough, or manor, within the kingdom of 
Ireland, be permitted to vote for any representative in 
Parliament for said county, city, town, borough, or manor, 
so long as he may cease to be resident in said county, city, 
town, borough, or manor, unless his right of voting arises 
from freehold or leasehold property of twenty pounds per 
annum, within said county, city, town, borough, or manor, 
as hereafter specified. 

That no elector shall be deemed a resident within any 
county, city, town, borough, or manor, unless he shall 
actually reside in said county, city, town, borough, or 
manor for six months at least in the twelve months pre- 
vious to the day of the teste of the writ, and unless the said 
county, city, town, borough, or manor shall have been the 
usual place of his residence during the period of his 

That every elector do register his qualification twelve 
months previous to the day of the teste of the writ, to entitle 
him to exercise his right of voting for members to serve in 

That the sheriff of every county do appoint a deputy to 
take the poll of each barony on the same day. 



[CHAP. V. 

That all decayed, mean, and depopulated cities, towns, 
boroughs, or manors, which have hitherto returned mem- 
bers to serve in Parliament by an extension of franchise to 
the neighbouring barony or baronies, parish or parishes, be 
enabled to return representatives agreeably to the principles 
of the constitution. 

That every city, town, borough, or manor, which hath 
hitherto returned members to serve in Parliament, be 
deemed to be decayed which doth not now contain within 
its present precincts a number of electors, over and above 
potwallopers, qualified to vote according to this plan, of 
not less than two hundred for the province of Leinster ; 
and that, whensoever any city, town, borough, or manor 
shall so far fall into decay as not to furnish the afore- 
said number respectively, that then the said city, town, 
borough, or manor do cease to return representatives, 
till such time as the aforesaid number of electors be 

That every Protestant in any city, town, borough, or 
manor (not decayed), seised of a freehold within the 
precincts thereof, shall have a right to vote for members 
to serve in Parliament for such city, town, borough, or 

That all bye-laws made, or to be made, by any corpora- 
tion to contract the right of franchise, be declared illegal 
by Act of Parliament. 

That every Protestant possessed of a leasehold interest 
in any city, town, borough, or manor (not decayed), which 
hitherto returned members to serve in Parliament, or within 
the precincts of the same, of the clear yearly value of ten 
pounds, which at its original creation was thirty-one years 
or upwards, and of which fifteen years are unexpired, as 
per registry, be entitled to vote for said city, town, 
borough, or manor. 




That the duration of Parliament ought not to exceed the 
term of three years. 

That all suffrages be given viva voce, and not by 

That any person accepting or holding a pension directly 
or indirectly, other than for life, or the term of twenty-one 
years at least, be rendered incapable of sitting in Par- 

That any member of the House of Commons holding a 
pension, directly or indirectly, for life, or for the term of 
twenty-one years or upwards, do vacate his seat, but be 
capable of re-election. 

That any member of the House of Commons accepting 
any place of profit under the crown, do vacate his seat, but 
be capable of being re-elected. 

That the following oath be administered to each member 
of the House of Commons, and by him taken before he 
takes his seat : — 

" I, A. B. of do swear that I have not by 

myself, nor have I by any other person, for me, or at my 
desire or cost, or with my knowledge, consent, or approba- 
tion, given meat, drink, entertainment or provision, em- 
ployment, place, money, or other value, reward, or con- 
sideration, directly or indirectly; nor any obligation or 
promise for employment, place, or other value, reward, or 
consideration, to any person or persons whomsoever, for 
any expenses of any kind whatsoever they may have been 
at, to induce him or them te vote or to forbear to vote for 
me or any other person, or to procure for me or any one 
else the vote or interest of any person ; and that I will 
never, directly or indirectly, fulfil any engagement or 
promise entered into by any person whomsoever, relative 
to the giving any meat, drink, entertainment or provision, 
employment, place, money, or other value, reward, or 



[CHAP. V. 

consideration, to any person for having voted for me, or 
procured a vote for me or any other person at the late 
election : and I do further solemnly swear that I will not 
suffer any person to hold any pension or any place of 
profit for me under the crown, or accept of any sum of 
money in trust for me, or for my use and benefit, or for the 
use and benefit of any of my family, whilst I shall serve 
as a member of Parliament. And I do most solemnly and 
sincerely take this oath without any evasion or mental 
reservation whatsoever. So help me God/' 

That any person convicted of perjury by a jury, relative 
to the above oath, be rendered incapable of ever sitting in 
the House of Commons. 

On Saturday the 29th of Nov. 1783, Mr. Flood, 
in pursuance of the resolution of the Convention, 
proceeded from that body to the House, and moved 
for leave to bring in the Bill of Reform. He was 
seconded by Mr. Brownlow, a name that of itself 
commanded respect. Sir Edward Newenham, 
who had previously given notice of his intention 
to the same effect, gave way to Mr. Flood. The 
proposition was not received in a favourable man- 
ner. The effect produced by the debates in the 
Convention had operated on the minds of the 
members; and although no one could assert that the 
Parliament was pure, or was either a popular or a 
fair representation of the people, yet the party 
who had hitherto supported them in their struggles 
for freedom, could not forget, that the House of 
Commons had, in the most trying times, acted 
well, — that its defects, great as they were, afforded 

CHAP. V.] 



no sufficient reason, why the forms of Parliament 
should be openly violated, and the body itself be 
thus rudely assailed. Government, too, had been 
very active, and had strained every nerve to op- 
pose the Convention. It appeared, therefore, bet- 
ter to meet the question at once, and to assert 
the authority of Parliament. Accordingly, the 
Attorney-general, (Mr. Yelverton,) whose services 
on behalf of the constitution of his country, and of 
the cause of the people, had been hitherto so re- 
markable, opposed the leave demanded. He was 
supported by Sir Hercules Langrishe, Prime 
Sergeant Kelly, Mr. Bushe, Mr. Hutchinson 
(the Provost), Sir John Parnell, Mr. George 
Ponsonby, and Mr. Denis Daly. These indi- 
viduals were men of undoubted and of tried 
attachment to the liberties of their country ; their 
opposition could not be said to wear a suspicious 
appearance; their motives were pure and incorrupt; 
their real object was to uphold the principles of 
the constitution, hoping that time would efface the 
errors into which the Volunteers had been led, 
and that the return of prudence would restrain a 
course of intoxication. Mr. Yelverton, who all 
along had viewed the proceedings of the Conven- 
tion with silent concern and patient affection, now 
gave them the most friendly admonition, and con- 
cluded by advising them to retire and cultivate 
the blessings of peace. 

Mr. Grattan's conduct at this crisis was a mat- 

l 2 


mr. grattan's conduct. [chap. V. 

ter of much anxiety to the minister, as may be seen 
from Mr. Fox's letter to Lord Northington. The 
Government expected that he would have taken a 
decided part against the Volunteers, and that, as 
one of the individuals who had contributed to 
bring them into existence, he was bound to take 
care that they should do no injury to the State. 
But the British ministry forgot that the Volun- 
teers had passed into other hands, and that they 
were no longer under the original salutary control. 
His wish was to keep the Volunteers of Ireland 
and the country well affected to the Irish Parlia- 
ment, no less than to the British connexion. He 
was anxious to reconcile rather than irritate, more 
particularly as his opinion on the necessity of re- 
form coincided with theirs. Therefore, although the 
motion appeared in such a questionable shape, he 
gave it his support; but he accompanied it with 
advice to the people — prudent, judicious, and 
paternal. Some men, however, supported the 
motion, merely to keep up standing grievances; 
some from private pique and interested motives ; 
and many undoubtedly were influenced by the 
declared sense of the places they represented, and 
the instructions they had received. 

Mr. Brownlow, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Forbes, Mr. 
Hardy, Mr. Ogle, Mr. Parsons, Mr. Browne, and 
Mr. Curran, who supported the bill, were all 
advocates of constitutional principles, attached to 

chap, v.] mr. daly's reply to mr. flood. 149 

law and order, and independent both in spirit, 
character, and conduct. 

The excitement in the house was very great ; 
the debate was long-, and very stormy. Mr. 
Flood urged the case with considerable ability, 
though not with perfect candour. However, the 
feeling rose strong against him. It was singular 
that this motion was unsupported by petitions 
from the people ; so that it came forward with 
great disadvantage, and was urged on in a man- 
ner most prejudicial ; and the precipitation and 
violence by which it was accompanied, certainly 
threw the question back for an indefinite period. 
It is also remarkable that Mr. Flood did not enter 
into the particulars of his bill, and the question 
was therefore not discussed on its merits. The 
objections were, that it originated with the Con- 
vention, and that he was not a free agent. He 
made a faint attempt at denial, stating that he 
had received " no order" from the Convention. 
He was severely replied to by Mr. Fitzgibbon, 
and pressed by Mr. Denis Daly, who said : — 

" I confess I am ashamed that the gentleman who made 
this motion should not only evade giving an answer to the 
enquiry, ' Whether it was the result of deliberations in the 
Convention/ but almost deny it. — I say that he brings the 
bill here by order of that body ; and I say that, while an 
armed assembly is sitting in the capital, the debate is not 
free ; but as I did not oppose or scorn the Volunteers 
when weak — as I never went to a county meeting, and 
with a contumelious aspect, asked if the county was 


arrayed — and being answered, No # — never turned my 
back upon them ; neither will I now, when they are strong 
and mighty, turn my back to them. But I will meet 
them as a friend, and will say to them, — 1 You are ad- 
vancing to anarchy and destruction : I beseech you, retreat 
while you may with honour, for there is a desperate 
demagogue among you, who is conducting you to a preci- 
pice, from whence you will fall to your ruin.' " 

This was a severe sentence from Daly, who was 
a more dangerous person to be attacked by than 
any other man ; for he possessed a rectitude of 
character that gave great weight to invective. 
At length, after a very violent debate, which 
lasted till a late hour on Sunday morning, the 
House divided ; when the motion for leave to 
bring in the Reform Bill was lost by 77 to 150 ;f 
immediately after which, the Attorney-General 
proposed the following resolution : — 

" That it is now become indispensably necessary to 
declare that this House will maintain its just rights and 
privileges against all encroachments whatsoever." 

This was carried by 150 to 60. 

* This refers to Mr. Flood's conduct towards the county of Kilkenny, 
when the Volunteer Associations commenced. 

f Members who voted on Mr. Henry Flood's motion, 29 Nov. 1783, 
for leave to bring in a Bill for the more equal Representation of the 
People in Parliament. 


Barton, Thomas 
Bernard, Francis 

Alcock, Henry 
Alexander, William 
Archdall, Mervyn 

Bernard, James 
Blackwood, Sir John, Bt. 
Bolton, Cornelius 
Brook, IJ. Vaughan 
Brown, Hon. Denis 

CHAP. V.] 



Mr. Conolly then moved — 

* That an humble address be presented to his Majesty, 
to declare the perfect satisfaction which we feel in the 
many blessings we enjoy under his Majesty's most auspi- 
cious Government and our present happy constitution, and 
to acquaint his Majesty, that at this time we think it 
peculiarly incumbent upon us to express our determined 
resolution to preserve the same inviolate with our lives and 

Brown, Hon. James 

Herbert, Richard T. 

Brown, Arthur 

Hussey, Dudley 

Brownlow, Rt. Hon. Wm. (teller) 

Jones, William Tod 

Burton, William 

Kearney, Thomas 

Butler, Sir Richard 

Kingsborough, Lord 

Caldwell, Andrew 

Latouche, Peter 

Carew, Shapland 

Leslie, Charles Powell 

Carey, Rt. Hon. Edward 

Lloyd, John 

Colthurst, Nicholas 

Longfield, Richard 

Corry, Isaac 

Lowther, George 

Crofton, Edward 

Malone, Richard 

Curran, John Philpot 

Massey, Sir Hugh 

Denny, Sir Barry 

Massey, Hon. H. 

Doyle, Major 

Molyneux, W T illiam 

Fetherstone, Sir J. 

Montgomery, Alexander 

Fitzgerald, Edward 

Montgomery, George 

Flood, Henry 

Montgomery, John 


Montgomery, Nathaniel 

Forbes, John 

Neville, Richard 

French, Arthur 

Newenham, Sir Edward (teller) 


Ogle, Rt. Hon. George 

Grattan, Rt. Hon. Henry 

Ogle, William 

Hamilton, Arthur Cole 

O'Hara, Charles 

Handcock, William 

O'Neill, Rt. Hon. John 

Hardy, Francis 

Parsons, Laurence 

Hartley, Travers 

Parsons, Sir William 

Hartstonge, Sir Henry 

Prittie, Henry 

Hayes, Samuel 

Richardson, William 



[CHAP. V. 

This was carried unanimously. A similar reso- 

lution was adopted by the Lords, to which his 

Rowley, Hon. Hercules 

Stratford, Hon. John 

Sharman, William 

Toler, Daniel 

Skeffington, Hon. C. 

Trench, W. J.K. 

Smith, Thomas 

Vowell, Major 

Stewart, Charles 

Warburton, John 

Stewart, James 

Ward, Hon. 

otewart, oiv Annesley, rJt. 

Westby, Nicholas 

bt. George, air Richard 


Acheson, Hon. Arthur 

Clements, Rt. Hon. J. 

Adderley, Thomas 

Cobbe, Charles 

Agar, George 

Coghlan, Thomas 

Agar, Henry William 

Coddington, Henry 

Annesley, Hon. Richard 

Conynghame, Rt, Hon. Lieut.-Gen. 

Armstrong, John 

Conoly, Rt. Hon. Thomas 

Aylmer, Sir Fitzgerald 

Coote, Charles Henry 

Bailey, James 

Cotter, Sir James L. 

Bennet, John 

Cotter, Rogerson 

Beresford, Rt. Hon. John 

Creighton, Hon. Abraham 

Beresford, Marcus 

Cromie, Sir Michael 

Blakeney, John 

Crookshank, Alexander 

Blakeney, Theophilus 

Cuffe, Rt. Hon. James 

Blaquiere, Rt. Hon. Sir John 

Daly, Rt. Hon. Denis 

Bligh, Thomas 

Daly, Denis Bowes 

Bourke, Hon. John 

Dawson, Arthur 

Brooke, Sir Arthur 

Delvin, Lord 

Browne, Henry 

Delveaux, Charles 

Browne, Sir John 

Digby, Simon 

Burgh, T. (Chapelizod) 

Dillon, Robert 

Bushe, Gervase Parker 

Dunbar, George 

Burgh, T. (Old Town) 

Fitzgerald, Rt. Hon. Lord H. 

Carleton, Hugh 

Fitzgerald, Rt. Hon. Lord C. 

Carroll, Edward 

Fitzgerald, James 

Caulfield, William 

Fitzgerald, James 

Chatterton, James 

Fitzgibbon, John (teller) 

Chinnery, Broderick 

Flood, Warden 


Majesty returned the following remarkable answer 
— the more worthy of notice, when we consider 

Fortescue, Thomas James 
Foster, Rt. Hon. John 
Foster, J. W. 
Gardner, Rt. Hon. Luke 
Greene, Godfrey 
Griffith, R. 
Hamilton, Sackville 
Hamilton, Sir J. S. Bart. 
Hatch, John 
Hatton, Henry 
Hill, Sir Hugh 
Hoare, Joseph 
Hobson, John 
Holmes Peter 
Howard, Hon. Robert 
Howard, Hon. William 
Howard, Hugh 
Hunt, Edward 

Hutchinson, Hon. R. H. (teller) 

Hutchinson, Rt. Hon. John Hely 

Hutchinson, Sir F. 

Jackson, Rt. Hon. R. 

Jephson, Denham 

Jephson, Robert 

Jocelyn, Lord 

Jocelyn, Hon. George 

Jones, Rt. Hon. Thomas 

Keane, Colonel Hugh 

Kelly, Thomas 

Kilwarlin, Lord 

Knox, Hon. Thomas 

Langrishe, Sir Hercules 

Latouche, John 

Latouche, D. jun. 

Lawless, Sir Nicholas 

Leigh, Robert 

Loftus, Henry 
Loftus, Captain Thomas 
Loftus, Rt. Hon. T. C. 
Luttrell, Hon. H. Lawes 
Mason, John Monk 
Maude, Sir Cornwallis, Bart. 
Maxwell, Hon. Mr. 
May, Sir James 
Meredyth, Henry 
Metge, Peter 
M'Clintock, J. 
Montgomery, Sir W. Bart. 
Moore, John 
Moore, Lorenzo 
Moore, Stephen 
Moore, Hon. William 
Morris, John 
Morris, Lodge 
Musgrave, Sir Richard 
Nesbitt, Thomas 
O'Callaghan, Cornelius 
O'Flaherty, J. Burke 
Ogilvie, William 
Osborne, John Proby 
Osborne, Sir Thomas 
Pakenham, Hon. T. 
Parnell, Sir Henry 
Pelham, Rt. Hon. T. 
Pennefather, Richard 
Pennefather, William 
Pigott, Thomas 
Pomeroy, Henry 
Pomeroy, Rt. Hon. John 
Ponsonby, George 
Ponsonby, John Carrigue 
Ponsonby, William Brabazon 


his majesty's answer. [chap. v. 

that, both in spirit and letter, it was shamefully 
violated a few years after : — 

" His Majesty returns his hearty thanks to the Lords, 
spiritual and temporal, and Commons in Parliament as- 
sembled, for their dutiful and loyal address. His Majesty 
receives with the highest satisfaction the sentiments ex- 
pressed by his Parliament respecting his Majesty's Govern- 
ment ; and his Majesty's faithful Parliament may rest 
assured of his Majesty's determined resolution to concur 
with them at all times in the maintenance of that free and 
excellent Constitution, on which the happiness and interests 
of his people of Ireland so essentially depend." 

Ponsonby, Rt. Hon. John 
Pole, William Wellesley 
Preston, John 
Preston, Joseph 
Price, Cromwell 
Ram, Andrew 
Rawson, George 
Reilly, John 
Richardson, John 
Richardson, William 
Rochfort, Hon. Robert 
Ross, Robert 
Roth, George 
Rowley, Clotworthy 
Ruxton, Charles 
Ruxton, John 
Sandford, George 
Sandford, George 
Scott, Rt. Hon. John 
Sheridan, Charles Francis 
Skeffington, Hon. Henry 
Skeffington, Hon. Wm. John 
Smith, Sir S. 
Stewart, Henry 

Staples, John 

Staples, John 

St. George, Thomas 

St. Leger, Hon. Hayes 

Sudley, Lord 

Taylor, Langford 

Tighe, Edward 

Toler, John 

Tottenham, Charles 

Tottenham, Charles (Co. Wicklow) 

Tottenham, Captain R. Loftus 

Tottenham, Ponsonby 

Townsend, R. Boyle 

Tydd, John 

Uniacke, Robert 

Usher, John 

Walshe, Patrick 

Weldon, Stewart 

Wolfe, Arthur 

Wolfe, J. 

Wood, Ottiwell 

Wynn, Rt. Hon. Owen 

Wynn, Owen 

Yelverton, Rt. Hon. B. 


It cannot be denied that the Volunteers had an 
argument. The Parliament of Ireland was a 
borough Parliament ; and it was the Volunteers 
alone who roused the spirit of that body, and 
forced it to act ; and when they had accomplished 
their object, they could not be certain that Par- 
liament would not relapse and undo all that 
had been already done. Unquestionably, if a 
reform had been effected, it would have been 
most fortunate ; for nothing could be so bad as 
the constitution of that Parliament, and this was 
eventually proved, when it sold the country. But 
in the first case, force was made to appear too 
glaringly ; in the next, the reform proposed was 
in itself a bad one ; and lastly, the leader of the 
measure, Mr. Flood, was not a man calculated to 
conduct a popular body. If he meant war, he 
did not manoeuvre well ; for the part he took at 
the Rotunda was neither sufficiently active nor 
sufficiently bold, and when the bill was rejected 
he abandoned everything. It is probable that 
if the question had come to the trial, the Conven- 
tion would not have succeeded. There were 
from 5000 to 7000 troops in the country. Eng- 
land had made peace, and the gentry would have 
taken part with the Parliament ; for though on 
the question of trade and constitution they would 
have taken part with the Volunteers, they would 
not have done so on that of reform. 

The termination of these eventful proceedings 


was communicated to Mr. Fox by the Lord 
Lieutenant, as follows : — 


Dublin Castle, 30th Nov. 1783. 

My Dear Fox, 
The opportunity I so much wished for has at last presented 
itself. The Committee of Convention having presented 
their plans, instructed Mr. Flood and Mr. Brownlow, two 
of the principal members, to introduce it into Parliament. 
They did not choose to continue in their original idea of 
petitioning Parliament, but introduced it as a proposition 
of their own. I was apprised, late on Friday, by my 
friends, of the intention to introduce it next day into the 
House, and I immediately determined to call as considera- 
ble and as full a meeting as possible of those who had 
declared a disinclination towards the conventional assembly. 
Accordingly, a full assembly, of great respectability and 
consequence, attended. It was proposed by Government 
to meet this question in the most decided manner, and to 
bring to issue the contest between the Government and 
this motley assembly usurping its rights. This idea met 
with very considerable support. A great heartiness shewed 
itself among the principal men of consequence and fortune, 
and a decided spirit of opposition to the unreasonable 
encroachments appeared with every man attached to the 
Administration. The idea stated was to oppose the leave 
to bring in a bill for the reform of Parliament in the first 
stage, on the ground of the petition originating in an 
assembly unconstitutional and illegal, and meant to awe 
and control the legislature. This bold mode of treating it 
was certainly most proper ; at the same time it was 
subject to the defections of those who had been instructed 

CHAP. V.] 



on this idea of reform, and those who were still anxious to 
retain a small degree of popularity amongst the Volunteers. 
To have put it with a resolution would have given us at 
least fourteen votes. Grattan, having pledged himself to 
the idea of reform of Parliament, could not see the distinc- 
tion between the refusal of leave on the ground of its 
having come from an exceptionable body, and the absolute 
denial of receiving any plan of reform. He voted against 
us, and spoke ; but his speech evidently shewed that he 
meant us no harm, and on the question of the resolution 
to support Parliament he voted with us. The resolutions 
are gone to the Lords, who will concur in them, except, it 
is said, Lord Mountmorris, Lord Aldborough, and Lord 

It is the universal opinion here that this day has given 
a most complete defeat to the Volunteers and the Conven- 
tional Assembly. Some of most consequence have been 
with us, and declared that, under the circumstances of 
being pledged at contested elections and guided by instruc- 
tions, they were obliged to oppose me ; but now this 
pledge is at an end, they have voted to introduce it into 
the House. That has failed, and they are now ready to 
receive any instructions as to the means of preventing any 
future discontents or disquietudes in their different counties. 
Amongst the foremost of them is O'Neill. — I feel great 
satisfaction at having postponed making a vigorous exer- 
tion until the Assembly had shewn itself to be such as to 
alarm moderate men here. Neither Flood nor Brownlow 
dare avow that they acted by instructions from this 
Assembly. Our Attorney General* acted with great 
ability, firmness, and decision ; such, likewise, was the 
conduct of the Prime Sergeant. Fitzgibbon acquitted 
hiinself astonishingly, as did Daly, Foster, and almost 
* Yelverton. 



every one on the side of Government. Pole voted and 
spoke in support of the resolution, both at a meeting in 
the morning and in the House of Commons, although his 
brother, Lord Mornington, approved only of resisting the 
introduction of the bill. I just learn that it is in the con- 
templation of Flood to carry over an address, as the 
deputed ambassador of the delegates, to the King, expres- 
sive of their loyalty, as a sort of counter declaration to the 
resolution of Parliament, and that he is to set off to- 
morrow night : in that case Luttrell means to accompany 
him, in order to prevent any false statement in the English 
House of Commons. If the business goes off as I sincerely 
hope it may, and the address should go to the King, an 
answer of temper and firmness at the same time would 
highly suit the present state of things with us. A retro- 
spective compliment to the conduct of the Volunteers — a 
disapprobation of their present meeting — a hope — expecta- 
tion, or advice of disbanding themselves. 

If parts of this are unintelligible, either from the hand- 
writing or complete nonsense, I must only rely on your 
goodness ; for you must know that, after a great Irish 
dinner, it is not the time for sense or precision. 
Adieu, my dear Fox, I am, 

Yours, very truly, 


It now remains to advert to the final proceed- 
ings of the Convention. — The Resolutions of the 
House of Commons were decisive ; and as it was 
clear the Parliament would not yield, so the 
question was, how this extraordinary assembly 
should relieve itself from the embarrassment in 
which it was placed. — It reassembled on Monday, 

CHAP. V.] 



the 1st of December. The Earl of Charlemont 
took the chair, and the roll being called over — 

Captain Moore took notice of the reception their reso- 
lutions received from Parliament ; but — 

Earl Charlemont observed, that it was not orderly to 
take notice of anything which passed in another place. 

The Earl of Bristol said the most proper mode of know- 
ing that business was through the gentlemen commissioned 
to move for the Parliamentary Reform. This brought up 
Mr. Flood, who said — 

" Not arrogating to ourselves the right of legislation, 
and not having forfeited our franchises, and being in- 
structed by this assembly to move for a bill of Reform, I 
went to the House in full confidence of meeting no opposi- 
tion; having but a simple proposition to move, I confined 
myself to the motion; but I soon found a disinclination in 
the House to receive it; — not but there were many members 
who were ready to receive and support it, but a more 
numerous host rose up and opposed it, on the pretext of 
allowing no ground for intimidation. On this I took the 
measure on myself, and was seconded by two honourable 
members of this assembly; but in vain, — rejection was 
determined on, and that in an intemperate and indecent 
manner, which I hope will only serve to strengthen your 
moderation and your firmness." — He then mentioned the 
resolution the House of Commons came to in consequence 
of his motion. He was sorry, he said, it fell to his lot to 
give the melancholy relation; but as the rejection made 
no alteration in their claim, he recommended moderation, 
fortitude, and perseverance. 

Mr. Brownlow followed Mr. Flood, and recommended, 
instead of animadversion on such an act, moderation and 



Major Moore then moved the following resolution : — 
" Resolved unanimously, that we earnestly recommend it 
to the electors of the several counties of this kingdom to 
appoint proper persons to make a return forthwith of each 
city, town, borough and manor belonging to their county, 
which is by our plan declared to be decayed ; to report 
by what admission of barony or baronies, parish or 
parishes, to the right of franchise, such decayed city, 
town, borough, or manor may best be opened in confor- 
mity to the said plan ; and if in any particular place a 
deviation from the general plan should by local circum- 
stances be rendered necessary, that they do specify these 
local circumstances with the utmost precision, together 
with such modes as may appear to them to be the fittest 
to be substituted in the place of the general regulation, 
assigning their reasons for the same ; but in no case ad- 
vising such deviation, unless on the most manifest ne- 

Mr. Flood then seconded the motion, which was 
agreed to. 

The Convention having met on the next day, (the 2nd 
of December), Mr. Flood observed, that as the Convention 
had still retained an impression of the conduct of a certain 
assembly on its mind, it was necessary it should rid itself 
of that pressure. In this country the conduct of the 
Volunteers did not stand in need of any vindication, as 
their actions could stand the test of the severest scrutiny ; 
but in England the case might be different, where they 
could have but few advocates ; and attempts had been 
already made to misrepresent their views. For these reasons, 
he thought it necessary for the Convention to agree to an 
address to his Majesty, to remove any suspicion that the 
royal breast might entertain of the purity of their inten- 
tions. He said it contained the substance of Mr. Hacket's 



resolutions, and was free from what had been objected to 
in them by some gentlemen ; at the same time, he said, he 
hoped Mr. Hacket would permit it to stand in the place 
of his resolutions, which he accordingly did, agreeing in 
the identity of their object. The proposed address was as 
follows : — 

"That his Majesty's most loyal subjects, the Delegates 
of all the Volunteers of Ireland, begged leave to approach 
his Majesty's throne with all humility, — To express their 
zeal for his Majesty's person, family, and Government, 
and their inviolable attachment to the perpetual connexion 
of his Majesty's crown of this kingdom with that of Great 
Britain; — to offer to his Majesty their lives and fortunes 
in support of his Majesty's rights, and of the glory and 
prosperity of the British empire ; — to assert with an humble 
but an honest confidence, that the Volunteers of Ireland 
did, without expence to the public, protect his Majesty's 
kingdom of Ireland against his foreign enemies at a time 
when the remains of his Majesty's forces in this country 
were not adequate to that service ; — to state that, through 
their means, the laws and police of this kingdom had been 
better executed and maintained than at any former period 
within the memory of man : and to implore his Majesty 
that their humble wish to have certain manifest perversions 
of the Parliamentary representations of this kingdom 
remedied by the Legislature in some reasonable degree, 
might not be imputed to any spirit of innovation in them, 
but to a sober and laudable desire to uphold the Con- 
stitution, to confirm the satisfaction of their fellow subjects, 
and to perpetuate the cordial union of both kingdoms." 

Mr. Bagenal then moved, " That the Generals of the 
Volunteer army be requested to give notice what sort of 
arms and accoutrements they will expect the heavy and 
light horse battalion and light infantry should appear in, 



and what place of review they will adopt for next summer." 
— The motion was not seconded ; and the original question 
being put, the address was agreed to, Lord Farnham and 
Mr. O'Hara only dissenting. 

The following resolutions were then unanimously 
passed : — 

" That the necessity of a Parliamentary reform is mani- 
fest, and that we do exhort the nation by every consti- 
tutional effort to effectuate such reform. 

"That an humble address be presented to his Majesty 
from this Convention, as the Delegates of all the Volun- 
teers of Ireland ; and that Colonel Flood and the Right 
Honourable Lieutenant Colonel William Brownlow, or 
either of them, do present the same." 

A copy of an address to his Majesty being then pro- 
duced and read, — it was resolved, "That the said address 
be agreed to and adopted as the address of this Con- 
vention. ,, After which, having passed sundry resolutions 
of thanks, the Convention adjourned sine die. 

This was a wise, though perhaps an idle, way 
of terminating an injudicious proceeding ; and the 
best that can be said of it is, that it was pacific. 

Sir Jonah Barrington, in his remarks on the 
subject in his work, entitled, "The History of the 
Union," complains that Lord Charlemont had 
resorted to unfair means for the purpose of dis- 
solving the Convention; — that he had taken the 
assembly by surprise, and that, with a few 
friends, he attended there on Monday the 1st 
of December, and procured its adjournment sine 
die* This is an error, and an unjust charge 

* See the " Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation," by Sir Jonah Barring- 
ton. Paris edition, 1833, p. 307. 

CHAP. V.] 



against Lord Charlemont. For the Conven- 
tion adjourned from Monday to Tuesday the 2nd 
of December, as it had formerly done. There 
was a full debate, a series of resolutions were 
adopted, and there was a regular attendance, 
Mr. Flood, Sir Edward Newenham, the Bishop 
of Derry, Lord Farnham, Mr. Bagenal, and Mr. 
Stewart, were present ; and it would have been 
very easy for them to have frustrated any attempt 
at dissolution ; but, in fact, all parties were 
desirous of terminating this unseemly strife, and 
were anxious to get out of the awkward situation 
in which they were placed, particularly after the 
vote of the House of Commons. 

Thus ended this memorable Convention. Its 
exit was much to the credit of the Volunteers, who 
now paid a becoming attention to the admonition 
of Parliament, recollecting that a soldier's honour 
exists in a contempt for the enemy, and a respect 
for the civil power, — recollecting also their own 
exertions against a perpetual Mutiny Bill, and 
against an army independent of Parliament, and 
that they should not be an army in its defiance, — 
that they should not presume to be the reformers 
of Parliament, — that to support Parliament by 
arms was a restoration, but to reform it by an 
array was subversion. When the liberty of the 
country was questioned by a Government at 
variance with the constitution, the case was dif- 
ferent; but now the Government was formed 

m 2 



[CHAP. V. 

on the charter of the people, and was no longer 
incompatible with their freedom. So that, if 
there had been no difference found between the 
past and present Government, there never could 
exist at any time a Government in Ireland that 
would have proved acceptable, nor any Govern- 
ment that would have given satisfaction to the 
subject, or repose to the malcontent. 

Lord Charlemont mainly assisted in extricating 
the country from the difficulty with which it was 
placed. A collision with the House of Commons 
was avoided, and the character of the Volunteers 
was preserved ; and for this great credit is cer- 
tainly due to him. He did not forget that the 
way to consequence within the House of Parlia- 
ment is a respect for its privileges ; as the true 
line of ambition without, is a veneration for its 
laws. His character, and the temperament of his 
mind were peculiarly fortunate. The toil and 
hardship of a parade in every part of the king- 
dom, could not be supposed to afford much de- 
light to him, except that which arose from the 
conscious satisfaction of discharging his duty at 
the sacrifice of his repose. The constant labour 
to restrain any thing that was violent — to dissuade 
every thing that was disrespectful—to stand be- 
tween the sword of the Volunteer and the Con- 
stitution, was a post of great solicitude, and 
required every thing that was pure in mind, and 
engaging in manner. 



The Volunteers were not forgetful of this crisis 
of their former glory, of their eminent services, 
and the extent of their fame : they knew that a 
resolution of the House of Parliament was not 
law ; but a resolution of Parliament, conveying 
to an armed body an admonition to retire, should 
be received as an order, and obeyed as a law. 
It was wisdom, therefore, to recede, and close by 
a dutiful exit a life of renown. What more illus- 
trious than a body of men arraying for the au- 
thority of the Legislature, and disbanding at its 
summons ? — that was to be the saviour of the 
country ; and their paths were those of glory, 
and their ways were the ways of peace. 

The day after the Convention had dissolved 
itself, Mr. Flood sailed for England to present 
their address to his Majesty, which he did at the 
next levee, and informed the Volunteers that it 
was not usual to return any answer on such occa- 
sions. He now appeared on another scene, hav- 
ing been elected for Winchester, a borough be- 
longing to the Duke of Chandos. He took his 
seat for the first time in the British House of 
Commons ; it was during the debate on Mr. Fox's 
India Bill. The subject had been warmly dis- 
cussed for several nights, and the House was tired 
of the question : he, therefore, came forward 
under much disadvantage. The ablest speakers 
— Fox, Pitt, Burke, and Sheridan, had deli- 
vered their opinions, and the subject was ex- 


hausted. Mr. Flood rose, as was believed, merely 
to say a few words, but being cheered and encou- 
raged and finding that curiosity was excited by the 
appearance of a new member, and a stranger, he 
was tempted to proceed. He spoke long, and 
showed that he had read a number of old books 
upon the subject, but that he was not master of it. 
His articulation was too slow for the English 
House ; he spoke in too grave a tone, and they 
did not like his oracular sentences delivered with 
what seemed an affected solemnity. He tired, 
and disappointed all parties. It is likely that 
they in some degree were prepossessed against 
him. He came over as a great Irish orator, and 
naturally excited considerable jealousy ; for 
though the English House of Commons is a fine 
audience, and inclined to do justice, yet it is not 
always a fair one, and there never was at any time 
a great predilection towards the Irish. It is often 
fastidious, and highly aristocratic. It is, never- 
theless, a good judge of talent, and there is 
scarcely so enlightened an assembly in the world, 
where there are so many men so well acquainted 
with so much and such various business, and who 
transact it at all times, and all hours, with such 
unremitting care and attention. 

Mr. Flood was not permitted to remain tranquil, 
and having in a debate soon after alluded to the 
Volunteers, he was attacked by Mr. Courtney, 
with some effect and considerable ridicule, on 



which occasion the forms of the House did not 
however permit him to reply ; he was also as- 
sailed and answered by Mr. Luttrell,* who had 
gone over from Ireland for the purpose of en- 
countering him, but with whom, as far as talent 
was concerned, Mr. Flood would have disdained 

* A few days after the debate, some Irish gentlemen were walking in 
Hyde Park, and conversing about Flood's speech, when Luttrell, who 
had replied to him, came up. They said that they were sure the 
English would not allow Flood to succeed in the house; that a stranger 
was not liked, and that an opportunity would be taken to put him 
down. "Put him down!" exclaimed Luttrell, u put Flood down! — 
his speech and conduct the other night shows pretty plainly they will 
not put him down." Mr. Luttrell, afterwards Lord Carhampton, is a 
name well known in Irish and English history. He acted in Middlesex 
as unconstitutional a part in a political way, as he did afterwards in 
Ireland in a military one. He had been attacked by Mr. Scott, who 
was counsel in the case of a petition, when Mr. Trench was declared 
duly elected by the House of Commons, although he had a minority of 
votes. Mr. Scott defended the proceeding, and said "it could not be 
compared to that of Middlesex : in the one case the member was a man 
of excellent character, in the other the reverse, that he was vile and 
infamous." This attack on the part of Scott was more than indecorous. 
Luttrell, however, took no notice of it, and from this circumstance his 
spirit was called in question. Such a course as Luttrell adopted 
might have been pursued by a brave man, and one of acknowledged 
character ; but Luttrell had not much character to spare ; he possessed 
neither a lofty spirit nor any experience in his profession ; he was a 
clever bravo, ready to give an insult, and perhaps capable of bearing one # 
That he was a mere adventurer, his attack on Mr. Flood in the English 
house plainly shewed, and completely justified the remark which Mr. 
Grattan was said to have made upon him, " that he was exactly the man 
to pounce on you when you were down and to pick out your eyes.'' 
His conduct to the Reverend Edward Berwick, who mercifully inter- 
fered on behalf of some of the peasantry that were flogged and tortured 
by the soldiers in 1798, will be alluded to subsequently, and will show 
to what sort of governors Ireland was committed. 



[chap. V. 

to engage, and whom he could have vanquished 
with the greatest ease. But Mr. Flood here also 
had no opportunity to reply,— he did not take 
an active part afterwards in the English Parlia- 
ment. He spoke on the French treaty in 1787, 
replied with spirit to Mr. (afterwards Lord) Gren- 
ville, and was complimented by Mr. Wilberforce 
for his eloquence and ability.* In 1790, he spoke 
very well on the subject of Reform,— and his 
reply was excellent, so much so, that Mr. Burke, 
in a private conversation, stated that "Flood had 
?*ecovered his ground" in that debate ; and Mr. Fox 
declared his plan of Reform the best he had yet 
heard of. 

But even at this approaching termination of his 
public life, (for he died the year after,) Mr. Flood 
was taunted in the House of Commons (March, 
1790), as not belonging to the country; and was 
attacked by Mr. Powis for bringing forward his 
plan of Reform — the plan so eulogized by Mr. 
Fox, and which Mr. Pitt said, he only voted 
against in consequence of the time at which it was 
brought forward, — that of the French Revolution. 

Mr. Flood was here made to feel, almost at his 

* No good report of this speech appears in the English Parliamentary 
Debates ; it was, however, published by Mr. Flood in a pamphlet. It is 
logical, and full of reasoning; it pleased the audience : they thought it 
convincing, and that Mr. Flood was superior in argument. It reads 
well, but is too sententious, and too full of little aphorisms and maxims, 
and is not well suited for the English people, who like more the language 
of fact, and not so much that of abstract. 



expiring hour, the folly of emigrating from his 
native country. He replied to the charge with 
spirit; and concluded, saying, " I am not a citizen 
of France, 1 am a citizen of the British Empire ; — 
the accident of my situation has not made me a 
partizan ; and 1 never till now lamented that 
situation, — now that I feel myself so unpro- 

Mr. Grattan's remarks, in his well-known reply 
to the pamphlet of Lord Clare, are deserving of 
notice. " Mr. Flood, — my rival as the pamphlet 
calls him, — and I should be unworthy the character 
of his rival, if in his grave I did not do him justice. 
He had faults ; but he had great powers — great 
public effect. He persuaded the old, he inspired 
the young. The Castle vanished before him. On a 
small subject he was miserable; put into his hand 
a distaff, and like another Hercules he made sad 
work of it ; but give him the thunderbolt, and he 
had the arm of a Jupiter. He misjudged when 
he transplanted himself to the English Parlia- 
ment ; he forgot that he was a tree of the forest, 
too old and too great to be transplanted at fifty ; 
and his seat in the British Parliament is a caution 
to the friends of union to stay at home, and 
make the country of their birth the scene of their 




The Lord-lieutenant refuses increase of salary — Letter to Lord North 
upon the subject — Lord Temple's letter to Lord Northington conveying 
the King's desire — Speaker's (Pery) speech at the end of the session — 
Lord Northington's letter to Mr. Grattan informing him of a Change 
of Ministry— Causes thereof — Lord Temple's conduct — Influencing 
the votes of the peers at the desire of the King — Conduct of Mr. Pitt 
and the King against Mr. Fox and the House of Commons — List of 
the New Ministry — Lord Northington's administration — Letter to Mr. 
Grattan — Lord Sidney and the Lords of the Treasury respecting W. 
G. Hamilton's pension — Mr. Foster's appointment as Chancellor of 
the Exchequer— The appointment of resident persons to employments 
in Ireland — Mr. E. Cooke's appointment — Separation between Lord 
Charlemont and Mr. Grattan — Cause thereof — Mr. Grattan purchases 
a borough for Lord Charlemont's relation — His letter to Lord 
Charlemont and Isaac Corry — Reply of Lord Charlemont — Mr. 
Grattan's panegyric upon him. 

On the 22nd of November, Mr. Molyneux moved 
that the salary of the Lord-lieutenant should be 
increased from 16,000/. at which sum it had been 
fixed in the time of Lord Halifax, to 20,000/. 
This was done without the approbation or know- 
lege of the Lord-lieutenant; and the Attorney- 
general accordingly proposed that the question 
should be adjourned ; the address, however, to 
his Majesty for the increase was carried. 

The next step was an increase of the salary of 
the Secretary 2,000/. a-year, which was proposed 


by Sir John Blaquiere. These motions came from 
those who had been in opposition, and were made 
rather with a view to the successor of Lord 
Northington than for him ; as Mr. Molyneux, a 
few weeks after, on the dissolution of Mr. Fox's 
ministry, proposed an address to the King, testi- 
fying their satisfaction at the dismission of the 
Coalition ministry, and the appointment of Mr. 
Pitt. The house did not agree to the motion, but 
it served to shew the insidious character of the 
measure — proposed by those who were in oppo- 
sition to the administration of Lord Northington. 

The increase of these salaries Mr. Grattan dis- 
approved of, but he moved for the appointment 
of a committee to enquire into all practicable 
retrenchment ; which was agreed to. 


u Copy of my private Letter to Lord North" 

Dublin Castle, Dec. 2nd, 1783. 

My Lord, 

An address has passed the House of Commons, upon the 
motion of a gentleman in opposition to the measures of 
Government, for an augmentation of the appointments of 
the Lord-lieutenant and his secretary. As soon as notice 
was given of this motion, I directed the Attorney-general 
to express my satisfaction to the House with the establish- 
ment already made ; that I did not desire any addition • 
that I was of opinion, the appointments were equal to the 
expense, or so nearly so, that with the addition of one or 

1 72 


two thousand pounds from his private fortune, a Lord- 
lieutenant might support his situation with sufficient 
splendour and magnificence ; that I wished no additional 
burthen might be laid upon the country upon my account, 
and therefore desired that the motion might be withdrawn. 

The Attorney-general, however, did not manage the 
business precisely as I wished him to do ; but moved to 
postpone the consideration for a fortnight, that I might be 
able to learn his Majesty's pleasure on the subject. This 
was objected to on account of the chance of committing 
the King and the House of Commons in different senti- 
ments ; and therefore it was contended that it was then 
fit to decide. My opinion being known on the subject, 
every person connected with the Government took the part 
they chose, and many voted against the proposition, think- 
ing it would be agreeable to me so to do. I only mention 
this circumstance, in order to acquaint your lordship, that 
if Government had been disposed to interfere, it is the 
universal opinion that there would not have been a mino- 
rity of twenty votes. The reason I wished the motion to 
be withdrawn, was on a supposition that it was a measure 
of opposition, after my wish to refuse it, to fix it for a 
subsequent Lord-lieutenant ; and the only predicament I 
particularly wished to avoid was that which the mis- 
management of the Attorney-general has put me into. 
The question was carried: it now goes for his Majesty's 
consideration ; and his pleasure must be taken, not only as 
far as regards me, but regarding the situation of his repre- 
sentative futurely, as well as now. 

Thus circumstanced, I shall beg your Lordship to state 
my wishes to be precisely the same as those I communi- 
cated to the House of Commons, of being allowed to 
decline this augmentation ; submitting, however, as it is 
my duty to do, to whatever commands his Majesty may 




think proper to send to me. I should mention to your 
Lordship that, approving the intended appointment of Mr. 
Pelham, I desired the Attorney-general to communicate 
my sentiments to the friends of Government. If the King 
npproves of my intention to refuse, it is thought an answer 
something similar to the one 1 have the honour to submit, 
would be as proper as any. I will, however, receive what- 
ever alteration your Lordship chooses. 

I have the honour, kc. &c. 

North ington. 

(Proposed Reply.) 

His Excellency the Lord-lieutenant having laid before 
his Majesty the humble desire of this House that his 
Majesty would be pleased to grant such an augmentation 
to the entertainment of the Lord-lieutenant for the 
time being as, with the present allowance, will in the 
whole amount to the annual sum of 20,000/. ; and his 
Excellency having expressed his wishes to decline any 
augmentation to the said offices, His Majesty has been 
graciously pleased to express the just sense which his 
Majesty entertains of the attachment of the House of 
Commons in Ireland to his Majesty's Government, and 
their zeal for its support. 

Copy (Official). 

Dublin Castle, Dec. 3rd, 1783. 

My Lord, 

The enclosed addresses from the House of Commons, dated 
the 22nd of last month, having been presented to me, 
expressing their desire that his Majesty will be graciously 
pleased to grant such an augmentation to the entertain- 
ment of the Lord-lieutenant for the time being, as, with 
the present allowances, will in the whole amount to the 



[chap. VI, 

annual sum of 20,000Z. ; also that his Majesty will be 
pleased to grant to the principal secretary of the Lord- 
lieutenant for the time being, an additional salary of 2000Z. 
per annum : 

I am to desire that your Lordship will be pleased to lay 
the same before his Majesty accordingly. I am at the 
same time to inform your Lordship that the Attorney- 
general, by my directions, acquainted the House of Com- 
mons, when the motion was proposed, that so far as re- 
spected myself, I was perfectly satisfied with my present 
appointments, and did not wish to place any additional 
charge upon the establishment of this kingdom on my 
account, but that in a matter respecting the situation of 
his Majesty's representative in that kingdom, I could 
not decide without first knowing his Majesty's plea- 

I am of opinion that the appointments of the chief 
secretary are very inadequate to the expenses of that 
situation ; and therefore I entirely approve of the addition 
proposed by the House of Commons to the salary of that 
office. I have the honour, &c. &c. 


Whitehall, Dec. 2\st, 1783. 

My Lord, 

Your Excellency's letter of the 3rd instant has been deli- 
vered to me by Lord North, with the addresses of the 
House of Commons in Ireland enclosed in it, desiring that 
His Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant such an 
augmentation to the entertainment of the Lord-lieutenant 
for the time being, as with the present allowances will, in 
the whole, amount to the annual sum of 20,000Z., and also 
that His Majesty will be pleased to grant to the principal 



Secretary of the Lord-lieutenant of the time being an 
additional salary of 2,000/. per annum. I have had the 
honour of laying your Excellency's letter and the said 
addresses before the King, and I am commanded to 
acquaint you that His Majesty is sensible of your Excel- 
lency's unwillingness on this occasion to place any addi- 
tional charge upon the establishment of Ireland for your 
own advantage. But as His Majesty considers the increase 
of salary proposed for the Chief Governor of that kingdom 
will not be more than adequate to the expenses attendant 
on that high and important situation, nor the addition 
proposed to be given to the principal Secretary more than 
is necessary for the proper maintenance of his station : 
His Majesty is graciously pleased to approve that the said 
augmentation shall be made, and your Excellency will 
receive the answers which His Majesty has thought proper 
should be given to the House of Commons upon this occa- 
sion. I am, Sec. &c. 

Nugent Temple. 

" His Excellency the Lord-lieutenant having laid before 
His Majesty the humble desire of this House, that His 
Majesty will please to grant such an augmentation to the 
entertainment of the Lord-lieutenant for the time being, as 
with the present allowance will, in the whole, amount 
to the annual sum of 20,000/., His Majesty has been 
pleased to declare his entire satisfaction in this necessary 
addition, and has granted the same accordingly." 

Lord Temple, who advised and wrote this 
answer, soon after reaped the benefit of it, as he 
accepted the situation of Lord-lieutenant in the 
course of a few years. 

176 the speaker's (pery) speech, [chap. VI. 

The speech which Mr. Pery delivered on pre- 
senting the money bills on the 22nd of December 
3 783, is deserving of remark on account of its 
constitutional character, its reference to the ac- 
quisitions made in the civil and religious liberties 
of the nation, and for his advice as to the mode 
by which they could be most effectually pre- 
served. " Public order and steady virtue!" — 
happy would it have been for the nation if his 
recommendation had been followed ! 

May it please your Excellency, 
History cannot furnish many instances of such remarkable 
events as have happened in the course of the last seven 
years ; of these none are more worthy of observation than 
the changes in the human mind, and the more so, because 
they have been produced by causes from which they were 
the least to be expected. New tenets more consonant 
to the principles of humanity and justice, have been uni- 
versally adopted in civil and religious policy; these are 
the happy but unexpected fruits of calamitous war. In 
other countries national benefits may have compensated 
for national misfortunes ; but it has been the peculiar 
felicity of this kingdom to acquire the former without 
feeling the severities of the latter. To her steady virtue 
she owes these glorious attainments, and by her virtue I am 
confident she will preserve them, and transmit to posterity 
unimpaired the British constitution, the very essence of 
which is liberty and order. Good government and liberty 
are inseparable , they are necessary to, and mutually sup- 
port and protect each other, and neither can exist without 
the other. 

The Commons, since the commencement of this session, 


have directed their attention to those important objects 
which weie so wisely recommended to them by your 
Excellency to improve and secure those advantages which 
had been acquired in the last Parliament. They have 
also made provision, without laying any new burthens 
upon the people, for the honourable support of His 
Majesty's Government, and for the discharge of the 
arrears upon the establishments ; and they have the 
fullest confidence that your Excellency will represent 
them to His Majesty, as loyal, dutiful, and affectionate 

Shortly after, the House adjourned from the 
25tli of January to the 9th of February ; and 
on the dissolution of the Fox ministry, Lord 
Northington, though requested to retain the office 
of Lord-lieutenant, chose to retire, and give up 
the administration of Ireland. He was soon after 
succeeded by the Duke of Rutland. 


Monday y 22nd December, 1783. 

Deah Sir, 

The King has thought it proper on Thursday night to 
send for the seals of office from Mr. Fox and Lord North, 
and they are no longer ministers. A total change was to 
take place immediately, and a dissolution of the English 
Parliament inevitable. The House of Commons have 
come to some strong resolutions, which I enclose to you. 
This mad and strange advice will probably be produc- 
tive of the worst consequence to the country, and of 
no small danger to the individual who has oiven it. 

I promised to give you early intelligence ; but I do 




it in so much hurry, being on my way to the house to pass 
the bills, that I am apprehensive you will scarcely read it. 
I remain, with great truth and regard, 
Very sincerely yours, 


The cause which led to the dissolution of the 
Ministry is well known. The India Bill of Mr. 
Fox was a measure wrong in point of policy, 
though not in principle, and showed, at first 
sight, the extreme imprudence of the proposal. 
Mr. Fox brought forward a most intricate sub- 
ject, at the very time that he ought to have 
avoided all doubtful questions. He ought not to 
have forgotten that the King, as is shown in his 
letter on the occasion,* hated the Rockingham 
party, which for so many years past His Ma- 
jesty considered to have opposed and thwarted 
him. He should, therefore, have been more 

"15th February, 1784. 
" Queen's House, 30' past 10, a.m. 
* "Mr. Pitt is so well apprised of the mortification I feel at any possibility 
of ever seeing again the heads of opposition in public employment, and more 
particularly Mr. Fox, whose conduct has not been more marked against my 
station in the empire than against my person, that he must attribute my 
want of perspicuity in my conversation last night to that foundation. 
Yet I should imagine it must be an ease to his mind in conferring with 
the other confidential ministers this morning, to have on paper my senti- 
ments, which are the result of unremitted consideration since he left me 
last night, and which he has my consent to communicate if he judges 
it right, to the above respectable persons. 

" My present situation is perhaps the most singular that ever occurred, 
either in the annals of this or any other country : for the House of 
Lords, by a not less majority than near two to one, have declared in my 
favour; and my subjects at large in a much more considerable propor- 
tion are not less decided 5 to combat which, opposition have only a 


cautious, and have been aware that the King 
would avail himself of the first opportunity to 

majority of twenty, or at most of thirty, in the House of Commons, who, 
I am sorry to add, seem as yet willing to prevent the public supplies. 
Though I certainly have never much valued popularity, yet I do not 
think it is to be despised when arising from a rectitude of conduct, and 
when it is to be retained by following the same respectable path which 
conviction makes me esteem that of duty, as calculated to prevent one 
branch of the legislature from annihilating the other two, and seizing 
also the executive power to which she has no claim. I confess I have 
not yet seen the smallest appearance of sincerity in the leaders of the 
opposition to come into the only mode by which I could tolerate them 
in my service — their giving up the idea of having the administration in 
their hands, and coming in as a respectable part of one on a broad 
basis ; and therefore I with a jealous eye look on any words dropped by 
them, either in parliament or to the gentlemen of the St. Alban's 
Tavern, as meant only to gain those gentlemen, or, if carrying farther 
views, to draw Mr. Pitt, by a negotiation, into some difficulty. 

■ Should the Ministers, after discussing this, still think it advisable that 
an attempt should be made to try whether an administration can be 
formed on a real, not a nominal wide basis, and that Mr. Pitt, having 
repeatedly and as fruitlessly found it impossible to get even an inter- 
view, on what opposition pretends to admit is a necessary measure, I 
will, though reluctantly, go personally so far as to authorise a message 
to be carried in my name to the Duke of Portland, expressing a desire 
that he and Mr. Pitt may meet to confer on the means of forming an 
administration on a wide basis, as the only means of entirely healing the 
divisions which stop the business of the nation. The only person I can 
think, from his office as well as personal character, proper to be sent by 
me is Lord Sidney; but should the Duke of Portland, when required 
by me, refuse to meet Mr. Pitt, more especially upon the strange plea 
he has as yet held forth, I must here declare that I shall not deem it 
right for me ever to address myself again to him. 

"The message must be drawn on paper, as must every thing in such a 
negotiation, as far as my name is concerned, and I trust when I next see 
Mr. Pitt, if under the present circumstances the other ministers shall 
agree with him in thinking such a proposition advisable, that he will 
bring a sketch of such a message for my inspection. 

" George, R." 

N 2 


turn him out ; and that Mr. Pitt, equally eager as 
the King, would have taken advantage of every 
error of his opponent. 

On the 18th of November, 1783, Mr. Fox 
brought forward the bill, which encountered great 
and able opposition, but it v/as carried in the 
Lower House by a majority of nearly two to one. 
Strenuous efforts were then made throughout the 
country, particularly by the King's friends, to 
inflame the people against the Ministry and the 
bill, which they represented as an invasion of the 
royal prerogative, and a dangerous source of in- 
fluence to the Minister. 

When the measure came to the Lords, it was 
strongly opposed by Lord Thurlow and Lord 
Temple, the latter of whom is said to have been 
the person through whose means that " secret 
influence" was exerted which threw out the bill. 
But the practice of bringing the influence of the 
crown to operate upon the legislative body was 
not practised by Lord Temple in England alone ; 
he resorted to it afterwards in Ireland ; and, aided 
by Lord Clare, introduced into that country in 
1789, a system of open and undisguised cor- 
ruption, injurious to the character, and fatal to the 
liberties of Ireland. 

Mr. Fox, in the House of Commons, produced 
a letter upon the subject of the exercise of the 
royal influence against the measure, and stated 
that a written note had been put into Lord Tern- 


pie's hand, in which the King declared, that he 
should consider those who voted for the India Bill 
were not only — not his friends, but his enemies ; and 
that if he, Lord Temple, could put this in stronger 
words, he had full authority to do so. 

In consequence of this, just previous to the 
debate, proxies were withdrawn ; a number of 
Lords changed sides — some absented themselves 
— and the Prince of Wales, (afterwards George 
the Fourth,) who had previously supported the 
bill, stayed away, giving this early indication of 
that sort of sincerity which marked his charac- 
ter and subsequent conduct, particularly where 
the cause of his friends, of liberty and of Ireland 
were concerned. The bill was rejected by 95 
to 7G. 

On the same day, (the 17th of December,) Mr. 
Fox very properly moved, — "That it is now 
necessary to declare that to report any opinion 
or pretended opinion of his Majesty upon any 
bill or other proceeding depending in either 
house of Parliament, with a view to influence the 
votes of the members, is a high crime and mis- 
demeanor, derogatory to the honour of the crown, 
a breach of the fundamental privileges of Par- 
liament, and subversive of the Constitution of this 

This resolution, after a violent opposition from 
Mr. Pitt, was carried by 153 to 80 ; and at twelve 
o'clock the ensuing night, a messenger brought 



to the two secretaries (Lord North and Mr. Fox) 

his Majesty's orders " that they should deliver up 
the seals of their offices, and send them by the under- 
secretaries, as a personal interview would he dis- 
agreeable to him" The seals were immediately 
given by the King to Earl Temple, who sent 
letters of dismission the day following to the 
other members of the cabinet. 

In consequence of the resolution of the House 
of Commons, Lord Temple gave up the seals, in 
order to meet, as it was said;, any charge which 
might be brought against him. However, nothing 
further was done on the subject ; but it does not 
appear that either he or his relation, Mr. (after- 
wards Lord) Grenville, ever denied, in a clear 
unambiguous manner, the statement respecting 
the unconstitutional interference of his Majesty. 

The most extraordinary state of affairs now 
presented itself : from the 19th of December, 
1783, to the 8th of March, 1784, the new 
minister, Mr. Pitt, supported by the King, con- 
tended against the former Minister, Mr. Fox, 
supported by the House of Commons. Motions, 
resolutions, addresses, postponement of supplies, 
rejection of Mr. Pitt's East India Bill, — and at 
last an humble representation* to the King, 

* The address to his Majesty on the state of affairs, is a document 
worthy of admiration on account of its style and composition. After a 
long debate, it was carried only by one, the numbers being 191 to 190. 
When laid before the King, he replied in a singular tone. The term 



testifying the surprise and affliction of his faithful 
Commons, were all successively carried, but in 

In the midst of all this turmoil, Mr. Pitt showed 
great character ; he was cool, inflexible, and 
immoveable. The King remained obstinate, and 
both, at length, triumphed over the House of 

This, perhaps, was one of the most singular 
contests that has occurred in the history of Eng- 
land. The consequence was, that the King first 
became his own minister, — and the minister after- 
wards, on the derangement of His Majesty, be- 
came ipso facto — king, and remained in power 
from that time, with little interval, till the year 
1806, when he died. 

"faction" which he gave to the majority of the House of Commons, and 
the statement " that in supporting the King Mr. Pitt saved the constitu- 
tion," were unbecoming the sovereign of a free people. The reply was 
as follows : — 

"Mr. Pitt's letter is undoubtedly the most satisfactory I have received 
for many months. An avowal on the outset that the proposition held 
forth is not intended to go farther lengths than a kind of manifesto ; and 
then carrying it by a majority of only one, and the day concluded with 
an avowal that all negotiation is at an end, give me every reason to hope 
that by a firm and proper conduct, this faction will by degrees be 
deserted by many, and at length be forgot. I shall ever with pleasure 
consider that by the prudence as well as rectitude of one person in the 
House of Commons, this great change has been effected ; and that he 
will ever be able to reflect with satisfaction, that in having supported 
me, he has saved the constitution, the most perfect of human forma- 




Great Britain. 
First Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exche- 
quers—Right Hon. W, Pitt. 
Secretary of State for the Foreign Department, — Marquis 

Secretary for the Home Department,— Lord Sidney. 
President of the Council, — Earl Govver (succeeded by 

Lord Camden.) 
Lord Privy Seal, — Duke of Rutland, (succeeded by Lord 


First Lord of the Admiralty, — Lord Howe. 
Lord Chancellor, — Lord Thurlow. 

( The above composed the Cabinet.) 

Master General of the Ordnance, — Duke of Richmond. 

Attorney General, — Lloyd Kenyon, (afterwards Lord.) 

Solicitor General, — Richard Pepper Arden, Esq. (after- 
wards Lord Alvanley.) 

Joint Paymasters of the Forces, — Rt. Hon. W. YV. Gren- 
ville, afterwards Lord Grenville and Lord Mulgrave. 

Treasurer of the Navy, — H. Dundas, (afterwards Lord 

Secretary at War, — Sir George Yonge, Baronet. 
Secretaries to the Treasury, — George Rose and Thomas 
Steel, Esqrs. 


Lord Lieutenant,— Duke of Rutland, (24 Feb. 1784.) 
Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, — Thomas Orde, Esq. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, — Wm. Gerard Hamilton. 
To continue Lord Chancellor, — Lord LifTord, 
Attorney General, — John Fitzgibbon, (afterwards Lord 


Solicitor General, — Hugh Carleton, (afterwards Lord 
Carleton, and Judge in the Common Pleas.) 

Prime Serjeant, — Thomas Kelly, (afterwards Justice in 
the Common Pleas.) 

Lord Xorthinsfton conducted his Government 
in a manner creditable to himself and friendly to 
Ireland. It was supported by Mr. Grattan, solely 
from public principle, and divested of all party 
feeling. He promoted domestic manufactures ; 
assisted the corn trade of Ireland ; favoured the 
breweries ; regulated the sugar duties in a man- 
ner sought for under a former administration ; 
introduced an Admiralty Bill, useful and consti- 
tutional in its clauses. He passed acts to encou- 
rage the growth of flax and tobacco ; he for- 
warded the linen trade for the purpose of relieving 
the distress that existed in the country, and for 
which he was obliged to impose an embargo on 
the export of provisions. He rendered the office 
of Chancellor of the Exchequer resident, instead 
of absentee, as it had hitherto been. His sen- 
timents on this subject appear in his letter to 
Lord Sidney, who was Secretary of State for the 
Home Department under Mr. Pitt's adminis- 

In addition to these meritorious services, Lord 
Northington refused an increase to the salary of 
Lord Lieutenant. In private he was cheerful and 
amiable, and not devoid of humour, even upon 
serious subjects. On one occasion, Mr. Grattan, 


having waited upon him with a paper containing 
a statement of matters, in which he thought re- 
trenchment was required ; he requested his 
attention to it. Lord Northington listened, and 
then replied, — " Oh, economy; let us keep that 
for a bonne bouche" He showed his attention to 
the principle, however, for he refused 4000/. 


Castle, February 2nd, 1784. 

Dear Sir, 

Enclosed I send you copies of my letters upon Foster's 
and Cooke's business, which you may privately shew to 
whomever you please. I understand yesterday some men- 
tion was made of Foster's affair, and that it was laid 
to my charge, from which you were so good as to rescue 
me. I feel myself much obliged to you on that occasion, 
but cannot take my final adieu without thanking you 
for the very able, honourable support, you have given my 

I beg you to be persuaded of the sincere friendship and 
regard I have for you, and that it would make me particu- 
larly happy to have more opportunities of cultivating and 
increasing your esteem and good opinion. 

I remain, with great truth, your faithful humble servant, 



(Private.) Dublin Castle, February 20th, 1784. 
My Lord, 

As I have found it to be the general wish of men whose 



opinions must have had the greatest weight with Govern- 
ment, that the employments of Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer and Master of the Rolls should be filled by 
gentlemen resident in this kingdom, I made it my 
endeavour to obtain a resignation of the first-mentioned 
office upon such terms as appeared to me to be liberal 
towards the present possessor, and such as were not likely 
to meet with the disapprobation of Parliament. 

To accomplish this object, it has been my intention 
to offer to the Right Hon. William Gerard Hamilton 
the full profits of his present employment for his life, as an 
inducement to him to accommodate Government. I have 
been disposed to state my intention of recommending 
to Parliament the exempting him from the payment of the 
absentee tax — a deduction of a fifth part, or to add to his 
pension so much as might clear it from the charge. Ac- 
cording to an average account of five years last past, 
delivered upon oath, the profits of Mr. Hamilton's place 
amounts to 1,800Z. per annum, without deducting the 
absentee tax. 

These conditions, however, have not yet met with Mr. 
Hamilton's consent ; and others, which he has thought 
proper to propose, I did not think it prudent for me to 

Had the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer been 
vacated by Mr. Hamilton's resignation, it was my intention 
to have submitted to the King my humble recommenda- 
tion of the Right Honourable John Foster to be appointed 
to that office. Mr. Foster has for several sessions of 
Parliament conducted the business of Government in mat- 
ters of finance with distinguished ability; his knowledge 
in that branch and in commercial subjects is universally 
admitted; he is a strong friend to His Majesty's Govern- 
ment, and his character is highly respectable. He is thus 


pointed out as perfectly proper to fill a responsible office, 
which, in conformity to the practice in England, may 
for the future be considered here as intrusted to a person 
speaking the sentiments of Government in the House of 
Commons on these two subjects. At present Mr. Foster 
supports the administration without such an office as holds 
him responsible to Government and the public in those 
particulars ; but being Chairman of the Committee of 
Supply, and the Committee of Ways and Means, he 
moves the resolutions upon the business in the House, 
though in the Committee he is precluded by being in the 
chair from supporting or debating the measure. 

The considerations before mentioned would, in the event 
of a vacancy, have induced me to recommend him to His 
Majesty to be appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, for 
which office there cannot, in my opinion, be a more proper 
person ; and I think it a justice due to Mr. Foster's merit 
to state my intention to your Lordships. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, 20th February, 1784. 

My Lords, 

I understand that in April 1782 the Earl of Carlisle (then 
Lord-lieutenant of this kingdom) recommended to the 
Lords of His Majesty's Treasury that they would lay 
before the King his humble request, that an additional 
salary of 300/. per annum, as Customer of Kinsale, should 
be granted to Edward Cooke, Esq.* in consequence of 

* This individual afterwards became unfortunately a bosom friend of 
Lord Clare, a scribe of the Castle, and went to extremes in support of 



his services in a very confidential station during his Lord- 
ship's government in Ireland. 

1 am well informed that the Duke of Portland has 
recently submitted the subject to the King's consideration, 
and that His Majesty was pleased to express his Royal 
approbation of some mark of favour being conferred on 
Mr. Cooke, whenever an official recommendation should 
be transmitted. 

In consequence thereof, I am to desire your Lordships 
will lay before His Majesty my humble request, that His 
Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant an additional 
salary of 300Z. a-year to Edward Cooke, Esq. as Cus- 
tomer of the port of Kinsale, to be placed on the civil 
establishment of this kingdom, under the head of Custom- 
house officers, to commence from such period as your 
Lordships shall be pleased to recommend, and to continue 
during His Majesty's pleasure, and to be paid and payable 
as other salaries on the said establishment are payable 
and paid. 

And if His Majesty shall be pleased to consent thereto, 
I desire your Lordships will lay before His Majesty a 
proper letter for his Royal signature accordingly. 

I have the honour to be, my Lords, &c. &c. 


The most unpleasant event that occurred about 
this time, was the separation between Mr.Grattan 
and Lord Charlemont, arising from circumstances 
singular in themselves, by no means discreditable 

the Union; he was not an Irishman. The very confidential station here 
alluded to may be judged of from the nature of the Lord-lieutenant's 
letters prior to 1782. See Vol. II. ante. 


to the one, and amounting at most to an error of 
judgment in the other. 

It is a matter to be deplored that politics should 
so often and so harshly terminate the most valued 
and disinterested private friendships. The sepa- 
ration between Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke, which 
even to the last moment* Mr. Burke singularly 
persisted in, affords a melancholy illustration of 
this remark. That between Mr. Grattan and Mr. 
Flood was another ; and we have to add to the 
list the rupture with Lord Charlemont, which 
arose out of the proceedings in the session of 

On the question of the augmentation of the 
army, Lord Charlemont and Mr. Grattan differed 
in opinion. The former had opposed Lord Nor- 
thington's government, and had been carried 
almost too far, when he kept in with the people, 
after the people had broken with the Parliament. 
He favoured their addresses, he attended their 
meetings, and joined their convention ; and al- 
though he did so with a view to moderate and 
restrain, still he lent them the sanction of his high 
name, and took part with Mr. Flood on the 

These were proceedings which were looked on 
with some jealousy and perhaps displeasure by 
Lord Northington's administration. They accord- 

* See Mr. Burke's last letter to Mr. Fox, dictated from his dying 
bed. — Priors Life of Burke. 




ingly did not consult him, or summon him to 
council, or pay him that notice and respect which 
he certainly deserved. This, Lord Charlemont 
did not forgive : he left that party and went into 

Mr. Isaac Corry, who was then a friend of Mr. 
Grattan, and Mr. Parsons, afterwards Lord Rosse, 
two rising men of the day in the House of Com- 
mons, joined with Mr. Flood on this question ; 
and these individuals, with others of minor note, 
got into a sort of scrambling opposition, which 
was on their part as injudicious as it was unneces- 
sary; for if one rule more than another is to be 
observed in politics it is this, — that when opposition 
has been rendered so effectual as to serve the 
country, it is a foolish thing for any member to 
attach himself to its daily practice ; it loses its 
character, and renders it entirely useless. 

Mr. Grattan felt this : it was not necessary for 
him to adopt such a course, and he would not 
implicitly follow any man. The circumstance, 
however, was embarrassing, as he sat for the bo- 
rough of Lord Charlemont, and did not like to 
vote against him. Accordingly he gave 2,000/. 
to purchase a seat for a friend and relation of Lord 
Charlemont, and got Mr. Stewart, the son of Sir 
Annesley Stewart, returned for the borough of 
Longford. Such was the delicacy of Mr. Grat- 
tan's feelings on the occasion, an example which 



certainly has not been followed in modern 

This circumstance, however, did not remove 
the coldness which existed on the part of Lord 
Charlemont. Some communication took place 
between the parties through Sir Annesley Stewart, 
in which Mr. Grattan asserted his own opinions, 
and contended that there was no inconsistency on 
his part, but the very reverse. In fact Lord Char- 
lemont had supported the augmentation of the 
army when the Government was strong and the 
people were weak and had not gotten their liber- 
ties; and afterwards Lord Charlemont and Mr. 
Flood opposed the augmentation when the people 
had obtained them and had become powerful. 

When the debate on the question took place, 
Mr. Stewart got up immediately after Mr. Grattan 
had spoken, and in a marked manner expressed a 
different opinion, and voted against the augmen- 
tation. Lord Charlemont thought Mr. Grattan 
should have done the same, which certainly was 
rather an instance of weakness on his part. The 
letters which passed on this occasion are highly 
creditable to Mr. Grattan. The one to Mr. Corryf 

* Mr. Scarlett sat for the borough of Lord Fitzwilliam in the Imperial 
Parliament, and voted against his patron notwithstanding. 

f This was the person who took so decided a part at the Union, and 
attacked Mr. Grattan in the grossest manner (as will be seen hereafter). 
The reply led to a duel, in which Mr. Corry was wounded. The letter 
here given is remarkable, and shows how feeble political friendships 
are in comparison with private. The love of self prevails over the love 
of country. 



points out the course that he thought ought to be 
followed with regard to the Government. Lord 
Charlemont's recommendation not having been 
attended to by Mr. Grattan, the rupture between 
the parties unfortunately became irremediable. 


February , 1784. 

Dear Corry, 

I received last night, the message you left for me to meet 
to-day ; but my opinion with respect to the measures con- 
tinues exactly the same. It would be unadvisable to enter 
into that kind of war. I think it would be better for some 
time to rest upon our arms, to hear the project of Govern- 
ment, and if it is wrong to oppose it. 

This is my intention with respect to my own conduct, 
because this is the only w ay in which I can be of any ser- 
vice to the country ; but 1 am very far from giving this as 
advice to others. In a great question I shall not be want- 
ing. If I cannot approve of your meeting, I shall keep my 
opinion to myself. 

As to meeting Lord Charlemont this morning, in this you 
cannot want my assistance ; you will do credit to yourself, 
and I hope— as I am sure you wish — do service to the 

I should meet Lord Charlemont with the greatest plea- 
sure this day, but am engaged at that time. As to meeting 
at large, I should, if unengaged ; and if I do not attend, it 
is because I should be sorry that my opinion (confined 
merely to myself) should have any weight in preventing 
any active measure of others which may be thought 
necessary. I am, my dear Corry, 

Very truly yours, 

Henry Grattan. 

vol. in. o 




Feb. 9th, 1784. 


Your persisting to act as you have done, after the answer 
delivered to you from me by Sir Annesley Stewart, clearly 
shews a fixed and settled design to break with me for 
evert and you have succeeded. 

As this is the last instance of intercourse between us, I 
will therefore repeat for the last time, what I have often 
told you, — that no difference in political opinion could ever 
have estranged me from you; — but I have a heart — a 
feeling one ! My sentiments, with regard to Parliamentary 
connexions, have long been known to you, and therefore 
you must be sensible, that the method you have taken to 
cancel all obligations can never produce the desired effect. 

The friendship of an honest man is inestimable. That 
you have possessed in the tenderest degree ; for that alone 
you are obliged to me ; an obligation which nothing can 
cancel, and which could only have been repaid by an equal 

Respecting the gentleman you have brought into Parlia- 
ment, I think you have chosen well. He is one for whom 
I have much regard ; but permit me to assure you, that I 
never shall consider him, in the smallest degree a Parlia- 
mentary connexion, and of my determination on that head 
I will take care to apprize him. He is your friend in Par- 
liament, and there only ceases to be mine. 

And now farewell. I admire your abilities, and firmly 
believe in your integrity. Thus prepossessed, can I con- 
clude otherwise, than by wishing you health and happi- 
ness, and a friend as faithful ? — but, that the friendship 
may be lasting, — far less delicate than, Sir, 

Your most obedient and most humble servant, 





14 th February, 1784. 

My Lord, 

Your letter gave me great uneasiness. I will state the 
facts — you will judge. I conceived, and am still convinced, 
that the situation of this country, as well as my public 
declaration in the Government of the Duke of Portland, 
demand that I should oive Lord Noi thing -ton's administra- 
tion a general and sincere support ; but though resolved 
to support, I did not solicit confidence. On the contrary, 
I offered to you not to attend meetings to which you were 
not summoned, and I told the secretary that my wishes 
were, not to be sent for unless Lord Charlemont was sent 
for likewise. My offer you received with coldness, and 
you joined the opposition ; for my part, then, I thought it 
necessary to appoint a substitute. This was not to cancel 
obligations, it does not cancel them, (they remain in full 
force,) but it was a justice due to you, to myself, and to my 
situation. I never could consent to sit for any gentleman's 
borough, and vote against him. I acknowledged that I 
learned from Sir Annesley Stewart your strong wishes 
against this step, nor did I acquaint him or his son that I 
intended to return the latter. I concealed my purpose till 
the election should be over. Mr. Stewart has no obli^a- 
tion to me : I chose him because your Lordship would not 
nominate any one, and because he is likely to be directed, 
by the example of a most respectable father, and by the 
weight and authority of his illustrious relation, your Lord- 

I should be very sorry indeed if this should put an end 
to our intercourse: no event would be more painful to me. 
However, it is certainly what you can do, but you can do 
no more, — you cannot diminish the opinion, regard, and 
love which I retain for your Lordship in the highest degree, 

o 2 

196 mr. grattan's panegyric [chap. VI. 

these sentiments, though unaccompanied by your kindness, 
being founded on your admirable qualities; you cannot get 
rid of the latter, nor change the former. 

I am, very sincerely, yours, 

H. Grattan. 

The prudent course and the generous senti- 
ments expressed in this letter did not make any 
impression on the mind of Lord Charlemont ; and 
thus terminated most unfortunately and unwisely, 
a friendship begun under such different auspices, 
and which had proved so serviceable to the coun- 
try. These individuals nevertheless met fre- 
quently after, and acted together for the public 
good, particularly when the Whig Club was 
formed ; but Mr. Grattan was never again invited 
to Marino, nor did Lord Charlemont seek to renew 
their former acquaintance. Mr. Grattan, how- 
ever, always spoke of him in terms of high admi- 
ration and regard, and after his death, Lady 
Charlemont and her family visited Mr. Grattan at 
Tinnehinch on terms of ancient and renewed friend- 

In the reply to the pamphlet of Lord Clare, Mr. 
Grattan described Lord Charlemont thus : — 

" In the list of injured characters I beg leave to say a 
few words for the good and gracious Earl of Charlemont. 
An attack, not only on his measures, but on his representa- 
tive, makes his vindication seasonable. Formed to unite 
aristocracy and the people ; with the manners of a court 
and the principles of a patriot; with the flame of liberty 



and the love of order ; unassailable to the approaches of 
power, of profit, or of titles; he annexed to the love of 
freedom a veneration for order, and cast on the crowd that 
followed him the gracious light of his own accomplishments ; 
so that the very rabble grew civilized as it approached his 
person. For years did he preside over a great army 
without pay or reward, and he helped to accomplish a 
great revolution without a drop of blood. 

M Let slaves utter their slander and bark at glory which 
is conferred by the people ; his name will stand. And 1 
when their clay shall be gathered to the dirt to which 
they belong, his monument, whether in marble or in the 
hearts of his countrymen, shall be resorted to as a subject 
for sorrow, and an excitation to virtue. 

u Should the author of this pamphlet pray, he could not 
ask for his son a greater blessing than to resemble the good 
Earl of Charlemont." 



Mr. Fitzgibbon appointed Attorney-general— The part Mr. Grattan took 
in that transaction (note) — Mr. Grattan's and Mr. Burke's praise of 
Hussey Burgh — Letter to Mr. Day — Annual Parliaments — Mr. Flood's 
motion for Reform, March, 1784— Aggregate meeting — Mr. Tandy's 
letter to the Sheriff — Attempt to form a National Congress — Mr. 
Fitzgibbon's peremptory letter to the Sheriffs — Mr. Orde's letter to 
Mr. Grattan respecting the meeting and address — Meeting of Con- 
gress in October — Its failure — Proceedings against the sheriff by 
attachment — Mr. Fitzgibbon's defence thereof — Meeting of Parlia- 
ment, January 7, 1785 — Mr. Grattan's Speech on the Address — His 
advice to the people — Mr. Orde's letter to Mr. Grattan respecting 
his speech, and the thanks to the Volunteers — Lord Charles Fitz- 
gerald's and Mr. Brownlow's motion as to the attachment — Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon's haughty and overbearing manner — Mr. Corry and Mr. Cur- 
ran's attack — Mr. Flood renews the subject of attachments — Mr. 
(afterwards Lord) Erskine's opinion against them — Mr. Brownlow's 
motion — Injurious tendency thereof — Discussion as to the right of the 
Catholics to carry arms — Note — Lord Charlemont's answer to the 
Volunteers respecting the granting the elective franchise to the 
Catholics — Mr. Flood's amendment — Mr. Fitzgibbon's eulogium on 
Mr. Grattan. 

At this period an event occurred, which proved 
to be the most unfortunate that could have be- 
fallen the country, and which was the cause of 
her greatest calamity and her final degradation. It 
is painful to be obliged to admit, that Mr. Grat- 
tan in some degree contributed thereto, and most 
singular it was that the individual who had but 


just assisted to restore the constitution of his 
country, should have been the unconscious in- 
strument of bringing about its destruction. 

The circumstance alluded to was the appoint- 
ment of Mr. Fitzgibbon to the office of Attorney- 
General. On the death of Chief Baron Burgh,* 
Mr. Yelverton was promoted to the Bench as his 
successor, and Government was anxious to get an 
active law-officer in his place. The country 
had been thrown into great ferment by the Vo- 
lunteer Convention ; an active and powerful party 
were still threatening, and seemed disposed to 
overawe the Government as well as the Parlia- 
ment. Ministers in both kingdoms, as is appa- 
rent from Mr. Fox's letter, were alarmed ; and 
they sought for a person possessed of spirit and 
boldness — a man who would support strong mea- 
sures, — a ready speaker, and a daring mind. Un- 
fortunately for Ireland, the elements of such a 

* Mr. Grattan, speaking of him, said, " I moved for this pension, — I 
did it from a natural and instinctive feeling. I came to this house 
from his hearse. What concern first suggested, reason afterwards con- 
firmed. Do I lament that pension? — Yes. Because in it I lament the 
mortality of noble emulation, of delightful various endowments, and 
above all, because I feel the absence of him, who, if now here, would 
have inspired this debate, would have asserted your privileges, exposed 
the false pretences of prerogative, and have added an angelic voice to 
the councils of the nation." — Debates in the Irish Parlia/nent. 

2,000/. was the amount of the annual pension granted among five of 
his family. 

Mr. Burke said of him, " He was one of the most ingenious, and 
one of the most amiable men, that ever graced yours or any House of 
Parliament."— Edmund Burke's Letter to Thomas Burgh, Esq. 

200 mr. grattan's implication in [chap. VII. 

character were to be found in the person of Mr. 

Mr. Grattan was consulted as to this appoint- 
ment, and in an evil hour he gave an opinion 
favourable to Mr. Fitzgibbon — " ibi omnis effusus 
labor." Mr. Grattan had known him at College, 
and when at the Temple. He had been a visitor 
at his favourite retreat at Sunning Hill, near 
Windsor; and the support that Mr. Fitzgibbon 
gave him on his proposition for restoring the final 
judicature of Ireland, and his speech on that 
occasion* had still further increased their ac- 
quaintance, and perhaps even their friendship. 

Mr. George Ponsonby thought that Mr. Metge 
(afterwards Baron of the Exchequer) was the 
fittest person to succeed Mr. Yelverton. This 
certainly would have been a wiser selection ; and 
Mr. Metge a fitter man ; but he was an indifferent 
speaker. Mr. Yelverton, Mr. Daly, Mr. Pon- 
sonby, and Mr. Grattan, were consulted. Yel- 
verton was for Fitzgibbon ; Daly was against 
him ; he was a better judge of men, and used 
these remarkable and prophetic expressions — 
" You are quite mistaken; that little fellow will 
deceive you all." But Government required a bold 
speaker, and Mr. Fitzgibbon was in consequence 
named Attorney-general. 

Mr. Fox did not augur well of the selection, 
and in his letter to the Lord-lieutenant he says, 
in reference to the appointment — and like Mr, 


Daly, almost in a spirit of prophecy — "Take care 
you do not strengthen an enemy, instead of gain- 
ing a friend." Lord Northington replied, that 
Mr. Grattan "had been consulted, and had no 
objection to act with him." 

There is no doubt that Mr. Fitzgibbon's talents 
alone would have raised him, and that he would 
have got forward by mere dint of professional 
knowledge and personal ability ; but that he 
would have been promoted under a popular Go- 
vernment, is another question ; and that a man 
who had so strongly from the outset opposed 
Irish freedom, should have been appointed by 
a Government who gained it in despite of his 
efforts, is much to be wondered at. 

Mr. Grattan had the misfortune of being con- 
cerned in this transaction, and the demerit of 
speaking in his favour, and thus destroyed the 
noblest work that had just been created — 

"From his slack hand the garland wreathed for Eve 
Down dropped, and all its faded roses shed/' 

He was, however, requited in a most extraor- 
dinary manner, and in a way not usual among 
Irishmen, who, though their passions are strong, 
possess feelings in which ingratitude seldom takes 
a share. The bitterest malignity and the most 
venomous hostility that ever existed was dis- 
played by Mr. Fitzgibbon, as will hereafter ap- 
pear. He left no means untried to blemish the 
character of his former friend and patron — to 


beat down his public principles — to counteract 
every exertion in favour of freedom and of Ireland. 
He strove to do Mr. Grattan every possible in- 
jury — nearly as much as he did to his country ; — 
he only failed to take away the life of the one — 
he took away the constitution of the other. 

The secret history of his appointment was, that 
Mr. Flood's violence, and the extremes to which 
he and the Convention proceeded, brought back 
to power Mr. Scott, Mr. Fitzgibbon, and the 
enemies of the people.* 

At this period, the history of the Volunteers, of 
Mr. Grattan, and of Mr. Flood, is pregnant with 
examples, and affords a useful lesson to all men 
who lead or mix in politics, that they ought 
to avoid extremes, and above all, be most careful 
not to involve the people in them. Individuals 
may escape ; or if they fall, they do little injury 
to the community. The pillars of the State may 
stand, though wondrous talent be overwhelmed ; 
but with great bodies it is otherwise : they ac- 
quire a force that it is difficult to control ; and 
though the leader imagines he may restrain as 
easily as he can set in motion — be heard as 
patiently and obeyed as readily when he counsels 

* Mr. Grattan used to say, " Contrary to Ponsonby's advice, I 
pressed for the appointment of Fitzgibbon, and I have that sin to answer 
for. I made him attorney-general ; the force of the constitution made 
him chancellor; and his country and myself were the two peculiar 
objects of his calumny/' 



caution as when he calls for boldness, he is mis- 
taken. The same hand that gives the machine 
the impetus, has not the power to guide its course 
or restrain its progress ; the great mass is carried 
headlong forward, and precipitates ruin on itself 
and on those who stand in its path. 

The following letter from Mr. Grattan to Mr. 
Day, shews what was the relation he stood in 
with respect to the Northing ton administration. 
In truth he had very little communication with 
them, further than supporting the general policy 
of their measures, and occasionally dining with the 
Lord-lieutenant. He was not consulted about 
their plans or proceedings, and therefore Lord 
Northington could easily say he had no objection 
to act with Mr. Fitzgibbon. Mr. Grattan never 
solicited the confidence of any administration, 
further than he could procure it by his public 
conduct. He received considerable attention 
from Lord Northington at the time when he (Lord 
Northington) thought proper to manifest consider- 
able coldness to Lord Charlemont, Mr. Brown- 
low, and others. But this was to be attributed 
to the part the latter took with respect to the 
Convention. Even here, however, Mr. Grattan 
went as far as could be expected ; for he offered 
to decline attending privy councils unless Lord 
Charlemont was summoned. 




My Dear Day, 
I saw the Attorney-general* this morning. 1 could not 
collect from him that you were one of the list sent in to 
Government. I did not know that Parliament was to be 
dissolved on Tuesday, nor can I foresee that I shall be con- 
sulted about the names to be in their list. I have had no 
conversation with them yet about their measures. — If 
called on, I shall give that opinion which I told to you; 
which is not my application, but their interest. 

Yours sincerely, 

H. Grattan. 

In March 1784, Mr. Flood brought in a bill for 
Parliamentary Reform. On this occasion the voice 
of the people had been expressed, and out of 
thirty-two counties of which Ireland consisted, 
twenty -six had petitioned in its favour. But the 
injury which the question had suffered from the 
proceedings of the former years was still felt ; and 
though Mr. Flood's bill was read a second time, 
yet, on the motion that it be committed it was 
lost by 74; the numbers in its favour being 
only 85, and against it 159. Mr. Grattan, Mr. 
Forbes, and Mr. Brownlow, gave it their utmost 
support. Mr. Denis Daly, Mr. Scott, (Prime 
Sergeant) and Mr. Fitzgibbon, (Attorney-general) 
being strongly against it ; — and many friends to 
popular principles were also induced to oppose it. 

Disappointed in their object, the people, how- 

* Mr. Yelverton. 



ever, were determined to proceed.* The spirit 
which sprung from the Convention of the Novem- 
ber of the preceding year, was lulled, but not 
extinguished. The public mind, which at that time 
was so much agitated, had not yet been calmed ; 
and persons of less weight and experience began 
now to assume a leadership with the people. 
Mr. Napper Tandy, son of a respectable trades- 
man, an ironmonger, in the city of Dublin, found 
now an opportunity to commence his political 
career; and in conjunction with Mr. Ashenhurst, 
a notary public, assembled a number of the 
citizens of Dublin in the month of June, and 
addressed a letter,-f signed by nineteen indi- 
viduals, styling themselves the Committee of 
the Aggregate Meeting of the city of Dublin, 
to all the Sheriffs of Ireland ; calling upon them 
to hold meetings of the inhabitants of their baili- 
wicks, upon the subject of an address in favour of 

* In July, 1784, the inhabitants of Belfast applied to Mr. Pitt, and 
forwarded a petition on reform to the King. In his answer, Mr. Pitt 
states, that he had undoubtedly been, and still continued a zealous friend 
to a Reform in Parliament ; but that he must beg leave to say that he 
had been so on grounds very different from those adopted in their 
resolutions. That what was then proposed, he considered as tending to 
produce still greater evils than any which the friends of reform were 
desirous to remedy. 

f Tholsel, Dublin, June 24, 1784. 


We, the undernamed Committee of the aggregate meeting of the inhabi- 
tants of Dublin, pursuant to a resolution of that body, enclose you a 
copy of their address to the people, and entreat you will convene the 
inhabitants of your bailiwick, and lay the same before them, as we 



Parliamentary Reform, and to appoint delegates 
to a Congress in Dublin, to assemble in the ensuing 

Most of the sheriffs refused to attend to this 
mandate ; a few of them, however, complied. Mr. 
Flood, along with twenty-six individuals, signed 
the address to the sheriffs of Kilkenny, to call 
together his county for the purpose. This request, 
however, was refused. Mr. Stephen Reilly, the 
sheriff of the county of Dublin, assembled the 
inhabitants of that county. General Luttrell and 
Mr. Gardiner, one of the members, attended and 
protested against the conduct of the sheriff in 
assembling a meeting of the inhabitants instead of 
a meeting of the freeholders. Being out- voted in 
a motion to confine it to the latter, they retired, 
and the proposition to elect five delegates to attend 
the national congress, was carried ; as also a reso- 
lution to support with their lives and fortunes any 
plan of reform adopted by that body. 

request their co-operation in this great and important business. You 
will please to signify your intention to the Chairman of this Committee, 
James Napper Tandy, Esq., No. 13, Lower Ormond-quay, Dublin, 

James Napper Tandy 
J. Talb. Ashenhurst 
John Peree 
Wm. Hen. Seward 
Geo. Joseph Brown 
Ignatius Weldon 
William Smith 

William Arnold 
John Ball 

John Hodson 
M. Ch. Walker 
Arthur Nevill 
William Burke, 

To Nathaniel Montgomery, Esq. 
High Sheriff, Co. Monaghan. 


This was the subject with which Mr.Fitzgibbon 
commenced his official career, and of which he 
availed himself afterwards to invade the rights of 
his countrymen. In the city of Dublin he per- 
sonally interfered. The sheriffs having called a 
meeting, Mr. Fitzgibbon addressed to them the 
following peremptory letter : — 



I have read with great surprise a formal summons signed 
by you, as high sheriffs of the city of Dublin, calling upon 
the freeholders and freemen of your bailiwick to meet on 
Monday next, for the purpose of electing five persons to 
represent the city of Dublin in National Congress. 

I must inform you, that in summoning the freeholders 
and freemen of your bailiwick to meet for such a purpose, 
you have been guilty of a most outrageous breach of your 
duty ; that if you proceed to hold any such election, you 
are responsible for it to the laws of your country — and that 
I shall hold myself bound, as the King's Attorney General, 
to prosecute you in the Court of King's Bench for your 
conduct, which I consider to be so highly criminal that I 
cannot overlook it. 

I am, Gentlemen, your very humble servant, 

John Fitzgibbon. 

Ely-place, Sept. 10, 1784. 

The Government were alarmed at this attempt 
to assemble another Congress; and Mr. Orde wrote 
to Mr. Grattan upon the subject, who did not 
approve of the proceeding by attachment, and it 
was suggested that counter-resolutions and a pro- 


test should be adopted, as the most constitutional 
course, and preferable to the mode proposed by- 
Mr. Fitzgibbon. 

When the sheriff assembled the citizens on the 
following Monday, he read Mr. Fitzgibbon's letter, 
and stated the difficulty he was placed in by the 
threats held out by the Attorney-general, and in 
consequence he declined to take the chair. 

Here Mr. Fitzgibbon gave one of the first indi- 
cations of that spirit which marked him ever after- 
wards, as fearless in his proceedings as he was 
reckless of their consequences. He came forward 
at once, threw himself in the midst of this popular 
assembly (he, the most unpopular character), and 
in the boldest and most undaunted manner, not- 
withstanding the tumult of disapprobation, de- 
fended his letter and his law, and repeated his 
determination to prosecute the sheriff, if he dared 
to take the chair and hold the meeting. In this 
he was supported by Mr. Arthur Wolfe (afterwards 
Lord Kilwarden), who declared the proceedings 
on the part of the sheriff were highly illegal ; in 
which he was seconded by General Luttrell 
(afterwards Lord Carhampton). 

In consequence of this mixture of civil and mili- 
tary law, the sheriff declined to hold the meeting, 
and pronounced the assembly ipso facto dissolved. 

This was certainly rather an unseemly proceed- 
ing for an Attorney-general ; but it so far suc- 
ceeded as to stop any measures of a similar nature, 


and thus Mr. Fitzgibbon effectually put an end to 
the National Congress. 

The result of the proceeding was communicated 
to Mr. Grattan by the secretary, as follows : — 


Pharnix Park, \Sth Sept. 1784. 

Dear Sir. — Since I had the honour of conversing with 
you upon the subject of the sheriff's summons, I have 
taken opportunities of collecting the opinions of many 
gentlemen, particularly those of nearest connexions and 
interest with this city in point of property and commercial 
engagements, and I have found them all very eager to take 
an honourable and decided part in resisting the indecent 
and dangerous attempts to insult and infringe the laws and 
the Constitution. 

I have reason to hope that the personal attendance of 
many respectable gentlemen not connected with Govern- 
ment, as the La Touches, &c. will tend to convince the 
ill-intentioned, that they are not to expect an irresistible 
success to their mischievous designs ; opposition will 
therefore be made to putting a question upon the election 
of representatives for a National Congress. I beg pardon 
for thus intruding upon your time, being induced only by 
a belief of the satisfaction you will receive in hearing of a 
favourable step for the restoration of good order and sub- 

* Thomas Orde (afterwards Lord Bolton), married in 1778 to Mary 
Jane Poulett, natural daughter of Charles Poulett, fifth Duke of Bolton, 
who, in failure of issue male, entailed on her his entire estates. Thomas 
Orde was secretary to the Treasury in 1782, and secretary to the Duke 
of Rutland 1785-7. He enjoyed the estates in right of his wife : in 
1795, he assumed the surname and arms of Poulett in addition to those 
of Orde, and was called to the peerage by sign manual, October, 1797, 
as Baron Bolton. 



mission to the laws and the legislature. I have the honour 
to be, dear Sir, with the sincerest respect, your obedient 
and most humble servant, 

Thos. Orde. 


Dublin Castle, 28th Sept. 1784. 

Dear Sir. — I am very sorry that you should have 
given yourself the least uneasiness, at the delay of an- 
swering the last letter, which I took the liberty of troubling 
you with ; though I at the same time must indulge the most 
flattering sense of satisfaction in your very obliging readi- 
ness to assure me, that my intrusion was not only forgiven, 
but acceptable. 

My Lord-lieutenant is no less sensible than I am of 
great pleasure, in his successful endeavour to mark atten- 
tion and respect towards you. 

The event of Monday, (20th instant,) will, I hope, 
indeed prove very instrumental towards the restoration of 
due order and decorum in the metropolis, and may prove 
of happy influence throughout the country. It is with 
the view of confirming it at so seasonable a period, that 
the friends of Government and of the laws have thought it 
right to circulate an address, # of which the inclosed is a 
copy, among the real freemen and freeholders of the city 
of Dublin, in the hope of obtaining a very respectable 
signature to it. The sanction of your approbation would 
tend greatly to convince us that the measure was right, and 
the event may be as conducive as its object, to the esta- 
blishment of tranquillity and order. 

* This was an address to the King from the noblemen, gentlemen, 
freemen, and freeholders of Dublin, expressive of their attachment to 
his majesty, and their aversion to any attempt at creating unjust discon- 
tents in the state. It was signed numerously and respectably. 


I find that I am ever putting myself under the necessity 
of entreating your forgiveness, though I rejoice in every 
opportunity which I can seize at the same time of repeat- 
ing the sentiments of real respect and esteem, with which 
I have the honour to be, dear Sir, your most obedient 
and very faithful humble servant, 

Thos. Orde. 

In the month of October, when the Congress 
was to assemble, only a few individuals made 
their appearance. They met in William Street, 
and debated with closed doors, unsupported by 
the upper orders. The Bishop of Deny, who 
had been so active the year before, did not now 
appear. Mr. Flood, however, attended for a very 
short time. He detailed his plan, which, as it did 
not include the Roman Catholics, was not ap- 
proved of ; and being dissatisfied at the want of 
support, and disappointed at the thinness of the 
assembly, he retired ; and after a space of three 
days, the assembly broke up without doing any 
thing.* Thus were the proceedings of this party 
completely frustrated. 

This should have satisfied the law-officer of the 
Crown, more particularly, as most of the sheriffs 
had declined to act on Mr. Napper Tandy's sum- 
mons, and as addresses had been voted very 
generally by the freeholders of the several coun- 

* They assembled in January in the ensuing year. Passed resolu- 
tions in favour of reform, and published an address to the people, rather 
in a style of exaggeration, mixed however with some truths, on the sub- 
ject of the defects in the representation of the people. 

p 2 


ties, expressing their satisfaction at such conduct, 
at the same time upholding their constitutional 
right, and declaring their sentiments to be in fa- 
vour of a reform in the representation of the people. 

These constitutional indications of a desire to 
restore order and peace throughout the country, 
did not, however, answer Mr. Fitzgibbon's object. 
He took proceedings against Reilly, the sheriff 
of the county of Dublin, by attachment as for 
a contempt of the Court of King's Bench, and 
that as an officer of the Crown he had called a 
meeting of the description already mentioned. 

This, on the part of the Attorney-general, was 
a strong measure. Its legality was questioned, 
and most people looked on it as a great stretch of 
official authority, and quite irreconcileable with 
the principles of a free constitution. The sheriff 
was not acting in the discharge of any process 
or order of the Court, nor in his ministerial capa- 
city. He acted in virtue of his right to assemble 
the comitatus of the county, and as being the 
officer of the people. Such in old times was his 
title, and so far back as the times of the Edwards, 
complaints were made of the sheriffs as such. 
The freeholders of the county used then to elect 
him, and the legal requisite was, that he should 
have sufficient land, and not be in the service 
of any great Lord ; and until he left that service, 
he was considered unfit to execute the office for 
the King and the people. 



The Judges of the Court of King's Bench, Lord 
Earlsfort, (late Mr. Scott, afterwards Lord Clon- 
mell,) Mr. Henn, Mr. Robinson, and Sir Samuel 
Bradstreet, like most Judges, were anxious to 
increase their authority and extend the power 
of their court. They gave very elaborate opi- 
nions, defended their right to issue attachments 
in such cases, and sentenced the sheriff to pay 
five marks,* or to be imprisoned a week. The 
punishment was nothing, but the principle was 

None of these Judges were, however, looked 
upon as very profound lawyers. Sir Samuel 
Bradstreet, who had been Recorder, knew some- 
thing of criminal law, but none of them were held 
in high esteem by the profession. The opinions of 
Mr. Erskine (afterwards Lord Erskine) and other 
English lawyers, were against the power claimed 
by the King's Bench ; and at the opening of the 
British Parliament in the ensuing year the subject 
was mentioned, and in the course of the debate 
the doctrine of attachments for constructive con- 
tempt was severely reprobated. 

The proceedings of the people respecting this 
Congress was alluded to in the speech at the 
meeting of the Irish Parliament, in January, 1785. 
The address stated the regret of the House at 
such lawless and unconstitutional proceedings, 
and their strenuous endeavours to prevent or 
punish its effects. 

* A mark is 135. 4d. 



[chap. VII. 

Mr. Isaac Corry boldly avowed that he had 
accepted the office of delegate to the Congress ; 
and that, if the law officers thought proper to 
proceed against him by attachment, he was ready 
to stand forward for the rights and liberties of his 

Mr. Grattan, who was as much averse to vio- 
lence on the part of the people, as to any uncon- 
stitutional proceedings on the part of the executive, 
was as decided in his opinion against the attach- 
ments, as he was prudent and judicious in his 
advice to the people, and declared that he would 
not give that part of his address a silent vote. He 
spoke as follows : — 

" We are called upon to defend the authority of Par- 
liament and the majesty of the people, — the first against 
encroachment, the latter against misrepresentation. I 
approve of this part of the address, because it directly 
strikes at the violent and unconstitutional measures which 
have disgraced this country since the last session. One 
would naturally enquire the great call or necessity for all 
these extrordinary proceedings ; one would suppose some 
great and fundamental principle of the Constitution vio- 
lated ; that the principles of the Revolution were invaded ; 
that the Petition of Right had been infringed ; that the 
great Charter itself had been broken, or that the principles 
of the Irish Revolution of 1782 had been invaded ; that 
the Parliament of Great Britain had attempted to make 
laws for us ; that the judicature of the Irish Lords had 
been encroached upon ; that the powers of the Council 
had been revived ; or that an army had been perpetuated 
upon us without consent of Parliament. One would not 




have imagined what is the fact — that this country is in 
full, free, and uninterrupted possession of the benefits of 
two Revolutions, the English and the Irish ; of the fruits 
of every exertion of both nations ; that she is more free 
than ever she was before 1 782, and as free as England at 
any period. I would now like to draw the attention of the 
House to the alarming: measure of d rillingr the lowest 
classes of the populace, by which a stain had been put on 
the character of the Volunteers. The old, the original 
Volunteers had become respectable, because they repre- 
sented the property of the nation ; but attempts had been 
made to arm the poverty of the kingdom. I most sincerely 
lament the injuries which were done to the popular cause, 
as of a more lasting nature than those committed against the 
state. The Government soon recovers from the alarm, and 
is compensated by increasing its advocates. In regard to 
the National Congress, it has been declared by some law 
authorities in this House illegal ; this I will say of it, that 
I do not think establishments of that kind reconcileable to 
a House of Commons. Two sets of representatives — one 
de jure, and another, supposing itself a representative de 
factOj cannot well co-exist. I condemn this meeting and all 
other excesses, because they prejudice the reform of Par- 
liament, at the same time that they insult its authority; — 
they give the business of Reform the cast and appearance 
of innovation and violence, and vulgarize popular exertion. 
The enemies of reform insist that it is an innovation, and 
that the people are too much inflamed to exercise with 
discretion an accession of power. I am a friend to the 
principle of reform, and deny both their positions, and 
lament that any description of men, however free, should 
give a pretence to such an argument. I dare say some of 
these men, whose measures I condemn, may mean well; — 
I am sure that they cannot mean all that their petitions 


and declarations proclaim. I think it is fair and friendly 
to expostulate with them by assuring them that they have 
been guilty of the wildest indiscretions; that they have 
gone much too far, and if they go on they will overturn 
the laws of their country." 

This wise advice is justly appreciated in the 
letters of the Secretary on this subject. 


Dublin Castle, Tuesday, 24th Jan, 1785. 
My Dear Sir, 
I was extremely anxious to have an opportunity of paying 
my respects to you after the debate of Friday, and much 
concerned to find, on being about to seize the first leisure, 
that you had gone out of town. I wished to express the 
sense I felt, out of regard for the country, of the essential 
service which you rendered to it by your distinguished 
share in the debate on Friday, and also to entreat an half- 
hour's conversation on some parts of our commercial plan, 
which I had not the time to explain so clearly as I desired. 
The value of your opinion and approbation, in measures 
intended for the equal good of both countries, I highly 
appreciate. I am truly impatient to see you, yet very un- 
easy at the apprehension of disturbing or interrupting your 
time in the country. I can therefore only allow myself to 
say, that I shall be very happy to have the opportunity of 
paying my respects to you as soon as you can conveniently 
give me the occasion. — I have the honour to be, my dear 
Sir, with the truest respect and regard, 

Your very faithful humble servant, 

Thomas Orde. 




Dublin Castle, 26th Jan. 1785. 

My Dear Sir, 
I am anxious to have an opportunity, as soon as I may 
without putting you to particular inconvenience, of con- 
versing with you on many interesting points, which require 
the earliest consideration and decision. I hope that I may 
have the satisfaction of hearing that you are likely to be 
in town within a day or two. — I have the honour to be, 
my dear Sir, with the truest respect and esteem, 

Your very faithful humble servant, 

Thomas Orde. 

mr. orde to mr. g rattan. 

Thursday Morning, \lth February, 1785. 
My dear Sir, 
I take the liberty of troubling you with this scrawl, to 
express the warm sense which my Lord-lieutenant has of 
the distinguished part you have taken in those questions, 
respecting the establishment of good order and just subor- 
dination to the Legislature. His Grace is well aware 
of the most honourable motives which actuate your con- 
duct for the welfare of the country, but cannot deny him- 
self the satisfaction of acknowledging a great share in the 
benefit, as he hopes ever to manifest the rule of his Go- 
vernment, to be for the advantage of the community. The 
question announced for this day becomes of great im- 
portance, from the consideration of the object that has 
occasioned it. The thanks to the Volunteers are certainly 
intended to operate the defeat of the Militia Bill, and 
1 am happy to think that I am fully acquainted with your 
sentiments upon that subject. 

Some of the friends of Government will meet here 


to-day at one o'clock, to consider of the manner in which 
the question of thanks should be met. I would not take 
the liberty of asking you to meet them, concluding indeed 
that it would be a more satisfactory mark of respect to 
you not to desire it; but I cannot so far dispense with 
a regard to my own interest, as not to entreat you to 
favour me with any hints which may suggest themselves 
to you. I shall know how to value them, and am truly 
sensible of their great use to us all. 

I have the honour to be, dear Sir, 

Your very faithful humble servant, 
Thos. Orde. 

On the 24th of February, 1785, the question of 
attachments was brought forward by Lord Charles 
Fitzgerald and Mr. Brown low, who moved : — 

u That the proceedings of the Court of King's Bench, in 
attaching the sheriff and punishing him in a summary 
way, as for a contempt, was contrary to the principles of 
the constitution, as depriving him of his trial by Jury, and 
is a precedent of a dangerous tendency." 

Mr. Fitzgibbon on this occasion vindicated his 
conduct with great warmth. Mr. Curran replied 
to him and to Sergeant Toler (afterwards Lord 
Norbury) with great spirit and ability. The 
Attorney-general, Fitzgibbon, displayed his spleen 
and temper in a style of language almost exceed- 
ing the bounds of Parliamentary decorum. He 
applied the term " puny babbler" to Mr. Curran 
for presuming to reflect on the conduct of the 
Judges. This was not the first time that Mr. 



Fitzgibbon had subjected himself to severe retort; 
and, singular to say, Mr. Isaac Corry, who some 
years afterwards moved in his train and followed 
him with such blindness, reproved him for the 
style in which he addressed the House of Com- 
mons, and in a debate a few nights preceding, had 
addressed him in the following strain : — 

" Permit me to observe, that there is an air of hauteur 
with which that right honourable gentleman frequently treats 
this assembly ; and let me assure him that with me, as one 
individual of it, he is not likely to gain much by the 
impropriety of that conduct. I wish him to have full 
credit for just so much as is the extent of his deserts, but 
cannot agree to his assuming any further consequence 
over other gentlemen than such as merit demands. The 
world is too enlightened to take hauteur for consequence, 
or airs for distinction. Airs and pomposity are too trum- 
pery ware for the public market; they may do in light 
circles, but will not do with men who have had no more 
than even the advantage of his own charter-school 

Mr. Curran, in a vein of pleasantry and ridicule, 
on the present occasion replied to the attack of 
the Attorney-general : — 

u The trentleman had called him a babbler. He could 
not think that was meant as a disgrace, because in ano- 
ther Parliament, before he had the honour of a seat in 
that house, but when he was in the gallery, he had heard 
a young lawyer named Babbler. He did not recollect 
there were sponsors at the baptismal font, nor was there 
any occasion, as the infant had promised and vowed so 

220 flood's motion on attachments, [chap. VII. 

many things in his own name. Indeed, he found it 
difficult to reply ; for he was not accustomed to pronounce 
panegyric upon himself : he did not well know how to 
do it. But since he could not tell them what he was, 
he could tell them what he was not. He was not a man 
whose respect in person and character depended upon 
the importance of his office; he was not a young man 
who thrust himself into the foreground of a picture, which 
ought to be occupied by a better figure ; he was not a man 
who replied with invective when sinking under the weight 
of argument ; he was not a man who denied the necessity 
of a Parliamentary reform at the time he proved the expe- 
diency of it by reviling his own constituents, the parish 
clerk, the sexton, and grave-digger ; and if there was any 
man who could apply what he was not to himself, he left 
him to think of it in committee, and to contemplate upon 
it when he went home." 

The resolution, however, was lost by 143 to 71. 
The subject was renewed again by Mr. Flood in 
a few days afterwards, who moved a resolution, — 
" That the practice of attachment for contempt of 
Court stands on the same ground of law in both 
kingdoms, and ought not to be extended further 
in Ireland than England." Mr. Flood maintained 
his doctrine with considerable ability ; but the 
motion was negatived by 120 to 48. 

The Attorney-general having so far succeeded 
in the case of the attachments, having got the 
Sheriff punished by the Court of King's Bench, 
intended to proceed similarly in other cases, and 
so wedded did he appear to be to the doctrine of 



attachments, that when it was proposed in Parlia- 
ment, that the law officers should proceed against 
the managers of certain public institutions in 
Dublin, for frauds and malversations in the dis- 
charge of their duties, the Attorney-general de- 
clared that he saw no other way but by attach- 
ment. This was received with general laughter 
throughout the House, and a dissent in other 
quarters also checked his legal ardor. 

The Magistrates in the county of Leitrim, ap- 
prehending, however, that proceedings would be 
taken against them, made application to Mr. 
(afterwards Lord) Erskine, and as the matter in a 
constitutional point of view is very important, his 
opinion is subjoined.* Thus a more accurate 

* Bath, Jan. 13, 1785. 


I feel myself very much honoured by your application to me on an 
occasion so important to the public freedom ; and I only lament that 
neither my age nor experience are such as to give my opinion any 
authority with the court in which you practise; but wherever I have no 
doubts, I am always ready to say what I think ; you are, therefore, very 
welcome to my most public sentiments, if any use can be made of 

You have very properly confined your questions to the particular 
case furnished by the affidavit which you have transmitted to me; and 
my answers therefore need involve in them no general discussions upon 
the principles of civil government, which in the mere abstract are not 
often useful, nor always intelligible. The propositions, to which my 
answers are meant strictly to apply are, 

First, whether the facts charged by the affidavit, on which your Court 
of King's Bench in proceeding against the magistrates of Leitrim, are 
sufficient to warrant any criminal prosecution for any misdemeanor 
whatsoever ? 



idea may be formed of Mr. Fitzgibbon's know- 
ledge and conduct, in a case where the consti- 

Secondly, whether, supposing them sufficient to warrant a prosecution 
by information or indictment, the court has any jurisdiction to proceed 
by attachment? 

As you are pushed in point of time, I can venture to answer both 
these questions at Bath, without the assistance of my books, because 
they would throw no light upon the first from its singularity, and the 
last is much too clear to require any from them. 

As to the first, the facts charged by the affidavit do of themselves 
neither establish nor exclude guilt in the defendants : in one state of 
society, such proceedings might be highly criminal ; and in another, 
truly virtuous and legal. 

To create a national delegation amongst a free people already governed 
by representation, can never be, under all circumstances, a crime ; the ob- 
jects of such delegation, and the purposes of those who seek to effect it, 
can alone determine the quality of the act, and the guilt or innocence of 
the actors. 

If it points (rio matter upon what necessity) to supersede or control the 
existing government, it is self-evident that it cannot be tolerated by law. 
It may be a glorious revolution, but it is rebellion against the government 
which it charges. 

If, on the other hand, it extends no further than to speak with cer- 
tainty the united voice of the nation to its representatives, without any 
derogation of their legislative authority and discretion, it is a legal pro- 
ceeding, which ought not indeed to be lightly entertained, but which 
many national conjunctures may render wise and necessary. 

The Attorney-general might undoubtedly convert the facts contained 
in the affidavit into a legal charge of a high misdemeanor; which, when 
properly put into the form of an information, the defendants could not 
demur to: but he could not accomplish this without putting upon the 
record averments of their criminal purposes or intentions, the truth of 
which averments are facts which he must establish at the trial, or fail in 
his prosecution. It is the province of the jury, who are the best judges 
of the state of the nation, and the most deeply interested in the preser- 
vation of its tranquillity, to say, by their verdict, whether the defend- 
ants acted from principles of public spirit, for the support of good 
government, or sought seditiously to disturb it. The one or the other 




tutional rights of his countrymen were concerned, 
and upon which he staked his legal reputation, 

of these objects would be collected at the trial, from the conduct of the 
defendants in summoning the meeting, and the purposes of it when 

If the jury saw reason from the evidence to think that its objects, 
however coloured by expressions the most guarded and legal, were in 
effect, and intended to be subversive of Government and order, without 
adequate objects to vindicate the active attention of the public, they 
would be bound in conscience and in law to convict them, 

But if, on the other hand, their conduct appeared to be vindicated 
by public danger or necessity, directed to legal objects of reformation, 
and animated by a laudable zeal for the honour and prosperity of the 
nation, then no departure from accustomed forms in the manner of 
assembling, nor any incorrect expressions in the description of their 
object, would bind or even justify the jury to convict them as libellers 
of the Government, or disturbers of its peace. 

To constitute a legal charge of either of these offences, the crown (as I 
before observed) must aver criminal intention, which is the offence of 
every crime ; and these averments must be either proved at the trial, or 
if not inferred, prima facie, from the facts themselves, may be rebutted 
by evidence of the innocent purposes. Tf the criminal intent charged 
by the information be not established to the satisfaction of the jury, the 
information which charges it is not true, and they are bound to say so 
by a verdict of acquittal. 

I am therefore of opinion (in answer to the first question) that the de- 
fendants are liable to be prosecuted by information; but that the success 
of such prosecution ought to depend upon the opinion which the people of 
Ireland, forming a jury, shall entertain of their intention of summoning the 
meeting, and the real bond fide objects of the assembly when met. 

It is unnecessary to enlarge upon these principles, because their noto- 
riety has no doubt suggested this novel attempt to proceed by attach- 
ment where they have no place; and I cannot help remarking that the 
prosecutor {if his proseuction be founded in policy or justice) has acted with 
great indiscretion, by showing that he is afraid to trust the people with that 
decision which belongs to them by the constitution : and which they are 
more likely to give with impartial justice, than the judges whom he desires 
to decide upon it at the expense of their oaths and of the law. 

224 lord erskine's opinion. [chap. VII. 

and defied the whole bar that was arrayed against 

This is a strong expression, which perhaps should not have been used 
in answering the same case in the ordinary course of business ; but 
writing to you as a gentleman, I have no scruple in saying, that the 
judgment of the court of King's Bench cannot entertain a jurisdiction 
by attachment over the matter contained in the affidavit which you sent 
me, without such a gross usurpation and abuse of power, as would make me 
think it my duty, were I a member of the Irish parliament, to call them to 
an account for it by impeachment. 

The rights of the superior courts to proceed by attachment, and the 
limitations imposed upon that right, are established upon principles too 
plain to be misunderstood. 

Every court must have power to enforce its own process, and to vindicate 
contempts of its authority, otherwise the laws would be despised ; and 
this obvious necessity at once produces and limits the process of attach- 

Wherever any act is done by a court which the subject is bound to 
obey, obedience may be enforced, and disobedience punished by that 
summary proceeding. Upon this principle attachments issue against 
officers for contempts in not obeying the process of courts directed to 
them, as the ministerial servants of the law, and the parties on whom 
such process is served, may in like manner be attached for dis- 

Many other cases might be put, in which it is a legal proceeding, since 
every act which tends directly to frustrate the mandates of a court of 
justice, is a contempt of its authority. But I may venture to lay this 
distinct and absolute limitation of such process, viz. That it can only 
issue in cases where the court which issues it has awarded some process, given 
some judgment, made some legal order, or done some act which the party 
against whom it issues, or others on whom it is binding, have either neglected 
to obey, contumaciously refused to submit to, incited others to defeat by 
artifice or force, or treated with terms of contumely and disrespect. 

But no crime, however enormous, even upon treason and rebellion, 
which carry with them a contempt of all law, and the authority of all 
courts, can possibly be considered as a contempt of any particular 
court, so as to be punishable by attachment; unless the act which is tlit 
object of that punishment be in direct violation or obstruction of something 



On the 17th of February, the House had voted 
15,000 men for the army, having before voted 

previously/ done by the court which issues it, and which the party attached 
was bound by some antecedent proceeding of it to make the rule of his 
conduct. A constructive extension of contempt beyond the limits of 
this plain principle would evidently involve every misdemeanor, and 
deprive the subject of the trial by jury in all cases where the punishment 
does not extend to touch his life. 

The peculiar excellence of the English Government consists in the right 
of being judged by the country in every criminal case, and not by fixed 
magistrates appointed by the croun. In the higher order of crimes the 
people alone can accuse, and without their leave distinctly expressed by 
an indictment found before them, no man can be capitally arraigned ; 
and in all the lesser misdemeanors, which either the crown or individual 
borrowing its authority may prosecute, the safety of individuals and the 
public freedom absolutely depend upon the well known immemorial 
rights of every defendant to throw himself upon his country for deliver- 
ance, by the general plea of not guilty. By that plea, which in no such 
case can be demurred to by the crown, or questioned by its judges, the 
whole charge comes before the jury on the general issue, who have a 
jurisdiction co-extensive with the accusation, the exercise of which, in 
every instance, the authority of the court can neither limit, supersede, 
controul, nor punish. 

Whenever this ceases to be the law of England, the English constitu- 
tion is at an end, and its period in Ireland is arrived already, if the Court 
of King's Bench can convert every crime by construction into a contempt oj 
its authority, in order to punish by attachment. 

By this proceeding the party offended is the judge; creates the offence 
without any previous promulgations, avoids the doubtful and tedious 
ceremony of proof by forcing the defendant to accuse himself, and inflicts 
an arbitrary punishment, which, if not submitted to and reverenced by 
the nation as law, is to be the parent of new contempts, to be punished 
like the former. 

As I live in England I leave it to the Parliament and people of Eng- 
land to consider what is their duty, if such authority is assumed and 
exercised by their judges : if it ever happens in this country, I shall give 
my opinion. 

It is sufficient for me to have given you my judgment as a lawyer 



2,000/. to clothe the militia. The country being 
at peace, such a force was scarcely required, and 
seemed intended for the purpose of counteracting 
the Volunteers, — a measure which, if necessary, 
was chiefly oocasioned by the imprudence of that 

Mr. Brownlow moved, not, as hitherto, simply 
the thanks of the House to the Volunteers, but a 
resolution, which referred to a period of time four 
years back ; namely, " that the Volunteers had 

upon both your questions; yet as topics of policy can never be mis- 
placed when magistrates are to exercise a discretionary authority, I can- 
not help concluding with an observation, which both the crown and its 
courts would do well to attend to upon every occasion. 

The great objects of criminal justice are reformation and example ; 
but neither of them are to be produced by punishment which the laws will 
not warrant ; on the contrary, they convert the offender into a suffering 
patriot, and that crime which would have been abhorred for its ma- 
lignity, and the contagion which would have been extinguished by a 
legal prosecution, unites an injured nation under the banners of the 
criminal, to protect the great rights of the community, which in his per- 
son have been endangered. 

^ These, sir, are my sentiments, and you may make what use of them 
you please. I am a zealous friend to a reform of the representation of 
the people in the Parliaments of both kingdoms, and a sincere admirer 
of that spirit and perseverance which in these days, when every im- 
portant consideration is swallowed up in luxury and corruption, has so 
eminently distinguished the people of your country. The interests of 
both nations are in my opinion the same, and I sincerely hope that 
neither ill-timed severity on the part of Government, nor precipitate mea- 
sures on the part of the people of Ireland, may disturb that harmony between 
the remaining parts of the empire, which ought to be held more sacred, 
from a reflection on what has been lost. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and humble servant, 

T. Erskine. 




been eminently useful to their country by the 
protection they had afforded against the foreign 
enemy, and by their frequent exertions in support 
of the police." 

This motion was ill-timed and unnecessary. 
A new body of men, giddy and turbulent, had 
sprung up, and had usurped the functions and the 
name, but were under very different control from 
what the original Volunteers had been, and not, as 
formerly, guided by grave and steady individuals. 
No doubt, Government had endeavoured, by the 
introduction of fencible regiments, to supplant the 
Volunteers ; but this they had given up in con- 
sequence of the unpopularity of the measure. 
They made a subsequent attempt, by introducing 
a militia ; and now a sum of money was voted to 
clothe them, so that the intention of the Govern- 
ment was apparent. 

Under these circumstances, the object of the 
popular party should have been to keep the 
Volunteers in the back ground ; but here they 
were made the subject of angry debate and in- 
vidious reflection, and a new question was raised, 
which ought to have been avoided, — namely, the 
propriety of admitting Roman Catholics into 
corps, teaching them the use, and giving them 
possession of arms, which by law, they were ex- 
pressly forbidden to have. They were already in 
considerable numbers in the corps, and no um- 
brage had hitherto been openly taken at such a 

Q 2 

228 volunteers' address to, and [chap. VII. 

measure. In the July of the preceding year, the 
Volunteers, at the Belfast Review, had, in their 
address* to Lord Charlemont, declared them- 

* To General Earl of Charlemont. 

My Lord, 

With the most sincere veneration for your Lordship's character, and 
affectionate solicitude for your welfare, the Volunteers assembled at 
Belfast beg leave again to congratulate your Lordship on your arrival 
among them, and to wish to your lordship along continuation of every 
enjoyment that rank, reputation, and integrity can bestow on a faithful 
and persevering Volunteer, — unpolluted by the corruption of a court, 
and uninfluenced by the politics of fluctuating administrations. 

We rejoice at the military ardour of a country in which every man is 
either already enrolled a soldier, or, from a general attention to the use 
of arms, would in a few weeks be qualified to act in the army of the 
people; and we pledge ourselves to co-operate with the collective body 
of our countrymen, in every measure directed to remedy the abuse of 
power, and the well-known defects in the Commons House of Parlia- 
ment ; defects which threaten the annihilation of our boasted form of 
Government, and are productive of the highest oppression to the in- 
habitants of this loyal and independent nation. 

Before we bid adieu to our beloved General, permit us, my Lord, to 
express our satisfaction at the decay of those prejudices which have so long 
involved us in feud and disunion ; a disunion which, by limiting the right 
of suffrage, and circumscribing the number of Irish citizens, has in a 
high degree, tended to create and foster that aristocratic tyranny, which 
is the fountain of every Irish grievance, and against which the public 
voice now unanimously exclaims. 

To the Delegates of the Volunteer Army reviewed at Belfast on the 
12th and 13th of July, 1784. 


To be possessed of your good opinions, has ever been the highest 
honour, as well as the greatest pleasure of my life ; and the kind ex- 
pressions contained in your address are now most peculiarly pleasing 
to me, as I am by them induced to hope that you will pardon me, if 
now, for the first time, I venture to differ from you in sentiment. From 
your disapproving the present limitation to the right of suffrage, I am 


selves favourable to the right of Roman Catholics 
to enjoy the elective franchise. This had drawn 

to conclude, that you would wish to communicate the elective privilege to 
our Catholic fellow subjects. This is indeed a matter of nice and deli- 
cate discussion; but, as the subject has of late been generally treated, 
both in conversation and in writing, I have given it every consideration 
in my power, and am sorry to say that my decision entirely differs from 
yours. The limited nature of what I am now writing, must preclude me 
from entering into a train of reasoning upon this point ; and I shall 
therefore content myself with declaring, that though perfectly free from 
every illiberal prejudice, though full of good-will towards that very 
respectable body, my judgment, as far as it has hitherto been informed, will 
not suffer me to agree with you. Neither am I by any means singular 
among the real friends to reform, in my idea upon this subject : if I were, 
I should, perhaps, be less ardent in my entreaties to you to desist from 
a pursuit which would fatally clog and impede the prosecution of our 
favourite purpose. Indulge not, I beseech you, any opinion which must 
and will create disunion. Your strength, your honour, your utility con- 
sists in concord, which is best maintained by perfect similarity of senti- 
ment. I shall ever most sincerely rejoice at the military ardour of my 
country, and at the permanency and increase of the Volunteer associ- 
ations, while they strictly adhere, as I trust they ever will, to the princi- 
ples on which they were first established, and preserve their original form 
respecting the members of whom they are composed. The civil army of 
Ireland has been respectable throughout the world, effectual and safe in 
its operations, and salutary in its consequences, because it is perhaps the 
only army on earth, each of whose private individuals has a property in 
the land it is embodied to defend. Such an army is singular and re- 
spectable indeed ; and may it never lose a jot of its singularity and 
consequent respectability ! 

With you I pledge myself to leave no constitutional mode untried to 
obtain that more equal representation of the people, without which the 
constitution is most certainly imperfect. But, while in the sincerity of 
my heart I make this promise, while I approve and emulate the steadi- 
ness of your principles, I must at the same time conjure you to restrain 
within the bounds of prudent moderation that ardour, which, considering 
the cause from whence it springs, can scarcely be deemed reprehensible, 
but which, if unrestrained by cautious wisdom, hitherto the most 



forth a reply differing from them in opinion, and 
unfavourable to the privileges of that portion of his 
fellow-countrymen. But it is to be observed that 
at a later period of his life, Lord Charlemont 
changed his opinion on this subject, and was 
favourable to their right to sit in Parliament, as 
well as to vote at elections. 

Several corps had likewise expressed opinions 
in unison with that of Lord Charlemont, and had 
also resolved not to admit Roman Catholics into 
their body ; and now a new question was started, 
namely, a right on the part of the Catholics to 
enjoy the use of arms : and this subject was very 

honourable as well as the most useful attribute of volunteers, would not 
only tend to postpone that wished-for event, which perseverance, pru- 
dence, and time will infallibly bring about, but might plunge this 
country into the most serious calamities. Let not, my dear and virtuous 
countrymen, the imprudence of some late measures be, through your 
fault, productive of consequences worse even than those which are 
natural to them. Be, as you hitherto have been, prudent, moderate, and 
firm. Your fortitude can never be doubted. It is the general and 
acknowledged attribute of Irishmen. But moderation has ever been 
your peculiar characteristic. By that your renown has been established 
throughout the nation. All that has been gained, has been by that 
means achieved ; — all that remains will by that be gained. Precipitation 
alone can dishonour us, and injure the cause we have most at heart ! — 
That the Volunteer associations may ever be,"as they hitherto have been, 
an instrument of good to their country, and that the name of Volunteer 
may go down to the latest posterity, renowned not only for the assertion 
of freedom, but for the happiness and aggrandizement of Ireland, is the 
first and most ardent wish and prayer of him who has the honour to be, 
gentlemen, your most obliged, faithful, and devoted humble servant, 


July 14, 1784. 




artfully introduced into the debate by those who 
were unfavourable to that class, with a latent 
view to embitter the public mind. It certainly 
sowed the seeds of that jealousy and disunion 
which quickly sprung up and flourished afterward 
with fatal luxuriance. 

This evil Mr. Flood aggravated by proposing an 
amendment, — " that it was not intended to ques- 
tion the undoubted right of the Protestant freemen 
to the possession and use of arms." This, how- 
ever, was rejected on a division, and the amend- 
ment by Mr. Gardiner, " that the House fully 
approved of the conduct of those who, since the 
conclusion of the war, had retired to cultivate the 
blessings of peace," was added to the original 
motion and agreed to. 

It was in this debate that Mr. Fitzgibbon 
passed a high eulogium upon Mr. G rattan, which, 
as nothing of the sort appears in any of his subse- 
quent speeches, may be presented to the reader. 
His allusion to Mr. Flood's measure of renuncia- 
tion was not ill-judged; and if the line of con- 
duct that he adopted afterwards be considered, it 
is rather a curious document. 

" From the first," said he, " I have ever reprobated the 
idea of appealing to the Volunteers, though I was confident 
Ireland was in no danger, while they followed the counsel 
of the man whom I am proud to call my most worthy and 
honourable friend (Mr. Grattan) : the man to whom this 
country owes more than any state ever owed to any 
individual; — the man whose wisdom and virtue directed 



the happy circumstances of the times, and the spirit of 
Irishmen, to make us a nation. Sir, I say that, while the 
Volunteers continued under his influence, I feared no evil 
from them ; but I apprehend what has since come to pass, 
that, when they should forsake him, designing incendiaries 
would make them the tools of faction, the instruments of 
their vile ambition. Let me entreat gentlemen to recollect 
what has happened. After the 6th George I. had been 
repeated — after an Irish Mutiny Bill had passed — after 
the law of Poyning's had been explained — after the 
judges had been rendered independent — at the moment 
when the acclamations of the nation were loudest in praise 
of the man who had most justly become their idol, at the 
suggestion of some person, everything was changed in a 
moment, and he was loaded with foul and unmerited 
calumny, for no other reason but because he ventured to 
have an opinion of his own, and chose rather to rely on 
the faith of a brave and generous nation, than on the fine- 
spun quibbles of a special pleader, which ninety-nine men 
out of every hundred that joined in the abuse could not 
understand, and which they would be as ready to censure, 
if the same instigators that set them on to vilify the saviour 
of this country, had declared against Renunciation." 

This eulogium certainly shows that Mr. Fitzgib- 
bon was not insensible to the service rendered to 
him by Mr. Grattan, but the feeling very soon 
changed, and in 1789 was quite obliterated. 



Committee on Irish trade — Mr. Gardiner's resolutions as to the trade 
and manufactures of Ireland — Mr. Foster and Mr. Orde's letters to 
Mr. G rattan on the commercial propositions — Mr. Orde introduces 
them — New taxes granted in consequence — Credulity of the Irish — 
The history of the Propositions — Imprudence thereof — Deceitful 
conduct of Mr. Pitt — Irish propositions, how received in England — 
Commercial jealousy — Mr. Pitt's twenty propositions — His 
speech — Petition from the English manufacturing towns — Mr. Burke's 
letter to Sir John Tydd on the debate — Lord Mornington to Mr. 
Grattan — Sketch of the debate in the English House — Mr. Pitt's pro- 
positions, how received in Ireland — Angry debates thereon — Proposi- 
tions abandoned — Mr. Grattan to Mr. Day — Extracts from Mr. 
Grattan's speech. 

The year 1783 had proved very unfavourable to 
agriculture in Ireland. The harvest had suffered 
considerably, and the distress among the people 
was very great. A cry was raised throughout the 
kingdom for protecting duties, and a demand was 
made that domestic manufactures should be sup- 
ported and encouraged. In consequence of these 
circumstances, a committee of the House of Com- 
mons was appointed in March 1784, to inquire 
into the state of Irish trade and manufactures; 
and several merchants were examined before it, 
from whose evidence it appeared that the Irish 
manufactures were exceedingly depressed. The 

234 mr. Gardiner's resolutions [chap. viii. 

imports from England were very great, and the 
exports from Ireland, except in woollen and yarn, 

The Committee had been directed to take into 
consideration the expediency of granting bounties 
on the sale of Irish manufactures. Accordingly, 
Mr. Griffith brought the subject of protecting 
duties before the House of Commons. On the 
2nd of April, Mr. Gardiner proposed four resolu- 
tions ; namely, " That it appeared to this House 
that the working manufacturers of Ireland were in 
the greatest poverty and distress — " That the 
importation of foreign manufactures have of late 
considerably increased ;" — " That this great im- 
portation, by impeding Irish manufactures, was 
the cause of poverty and distress;" — "That the 
interference of Parliament was necessary to re- 
move these evils." 

After a very able speech on the trade and 
manufactures of Ireland, Mr. Gardiner moved the 
first of these resolutions. Mr. Foster, however, 
proposed that the House should go into a Com- 
mittee, which was accordingly carried. Mr. Gar- 
diner moved that additional duties of 2s. 6d. 
per yard should be levied upon drapery imported 
into Ireland. He said that the Sugar Bill con- 
tained a protecting duty ; it was first 5*. 6d., 
then 0?., then 12*;— that the duties on beer, 
and on corn and flour, were protecting duties; 
and the duties on iron and wine, not only pro- 




tecting but prohibitory. Mr. Parsons ran into 
the extreme at once, and moved that AOs. should 
be substituted for 2s. 6d. Mr. Foster objected 
to this, and stated that the resolution itself would 
operate as a non-importation agreement. He 
denied that protecting duties were the most 
effectual mode of enriching a kingdom, and op- 
posed it as likely to irritate England. The mo- 
tion was negatived by 123 to 37. 

Mr. Gardiner, after such a division against 
him, abandoned his resolution respecting pro- 
tecting duties. 

On the 13th of May the subject was renewed 
in a different shape by Mr. Griffith, who moved 
an address to His Majesty, setting forth the deep 
distress of the woollen, cotton, and silk manufac- 
turers, and praying that he would direct his 
ministers to make such inquiries as might enable 
them to come forward, early in the next session 
of Parliament, (in 1785,) with some wise and 
well-digested plan for the more liberal arrange- 
ment of commercial intercourse between Great 
Britain and Ireland. This address being amended 
by Mr. Orde and Mr. Foster, passed without 
opposition, and laid the ground for the intro- 
duction of the commercial propositions, — that 
intricate and perplexing subject, which raised 
such heat and jealousies, and which occupied 
for so long the attention of the Parliament and the 
people of both kingdoms. 



The following letters were addressed to Mr. 
Grattan when the resolutions were submitted to 
him, which he seems not to have approved of : — 


January 28th, 1785. 

Dear Grattan, 
I received your letter, and am much flattered and thankful 
for the free communication of your sentiments.* You 
have taken up the idea as if it partook of a subsidy in its 
nature ; on which I do not agree with you. It is not 
a subsidy, nor is it a purchase paid, or to be paid, for any 
acquisition or security in trade. It is only a declaration, 
that when our interest becomes equal, by an equal partici- 
pation in every commercial advantage, with the other 
constituent parts of the empire, it will be our business 
to help to take care of our share of the benefit, and 
to support our common part of defence, protection, and 
naval superiority, which jointly concern us. A compen- 
sation for rights restored, for favours conferred, or for 
equality, is out of my contemplation ; but when rights are 
restored, we become interested in the preservation of them, 
and it concerns us to provide a means of securing their 

As to the impolicy of it, I ever did say here, and in 
England: — it were better for Britain to leave the affair 
to the liberality and ability of the moment, when our 
aid might be necessary ; and still more, if besides the folly 
of desiring it to be ascertained in the day of our poverty, 
jealousies and discontent might be roused, which would 
continue our want of tranquillity, and exasperate instead 
of soothing. With this impression I have written, as 

* This letter could not be found among Mr. G rattan's or Mr. Foster's 


forcibly as I could, to London, and I should wish to 
be allowed to let the very strong argument you have urged 
to me be known there. Will you allow me to use your 
letter for that purpose^? I think it will have great weight. 
Its reasoning would have force from any man ; but from 
you, they would be most powerful. With regard to our 
separate interests, I am satisfied the proportion is fa- 
vourable in point of quantum, &c. Sec. 

As yet I have not been able to get information to judge 
of the situation, of expense and revenue, of this kingdom. 
The old duties are very backward and very costive ; but 
it is rank folly not to equalize, or at least fix a period, 
when the present wretched system of borrowing annually 
shall be stopped. I hope, against we meet, I shall be able 
to talk to you, and get your advice on that subject. Our 
present taxes seem to me capable of almost accomplishing 
the business. If they are not, revolve in your mind whe- 
ther it be more prudent to equalize now, or by any 
new tax, while the public mind is prepared for full arrange- 
ment, or to run the chance of harassing by taxes, next 
session, when people will be led thereby to think their 
situation is never to be settled, and will undervalue our 
commercial adjustment, if they find taxes unexpectedly 
succeed it. Ever yours, my dear Grattan, most truly, 

J. Foster. 


Dublin Castle, 16th April, 1785. 

Dear Sir, 

I am honoured by the receipt of your letter, and sincerely 
thank you for the open and candid manner in which 
you have communicated to me your objections to the parts 
of the bill which you allowed me to send to you. I must, 
at the same time, express my real concern on finding 


your opinion to be unfavourable, as I conceived the expla- 
nation thus introduced into the bill to be neither new 
nor inconsistent with the spirit of the 11th resolution, as 
originally intended. I am sure that I never understood it 
in a different way; and I am yet persuaded, that if 
you will do me the honour of one half-hour's conversation, 
I shall be able to convince you of the impossibility that 
any risk can occur to the public, or at all events, that any 
Government can exist without such a discretionary power ; 
still subject, however, to the future judgment of Parlia- 
ment upon its conduct. 

But I will not attempt here to argue this point. I will 
trust to your goodness to allow me to speak to you upon 
the subject. 

I have the honour to be, dear Sir, with great respect and 
regard, your very faithful humble servant, 

Thos. Orde. 


Dublin Castle, Thursday, 2lst April, 1785. 
Dear Sir, 

I had hoped to have found an opportunity of leisure 
convenient to you, when I might have solicited the honour 
of a short conversation upon the subject, which seems 
to have created some doubts in your mind. I am still 
persuaded that I can explain satisfactorily the matter, 
and at all events, make it appear to you that there is no 
departure from the spirit of the 11th resolution, according 
to the sense in which it was originally conceived. The 
judgment of Parliament is by no means taken away 
by the bill. It will remain in the same force as it does 
at this day, and the nature of the provision regards only 
the exemption of certain extraordinary and unforeseen 
objects* of the public expense. Government being equally 


liable, as now, to the control and censure of Parliament 
for misconduct upon such articles. 

I will not detain you longer than to repeat my wish, that 
you will on any day after to-morrow allow me the honour 
of half an hour's conversation with you. 

I have the honour to be, dear Sir, with great respect 
and regard, your most obedient and very faithful humble 

Thos. Orde. 

The history of the Irish Propositions was as 
follows : — Mr. Joshua Pirn,* a respectable citizen 
and merchant of Dublin, originated them. He 
prepared two resolutions, and gave them to Mr. 
Orde, the Secretary ; but told him not to propose 
them, if they could not be carried on the other 
side of the water, because their rejection would 
be more injurious than not proposing them; — he 
added that probably Mr. Grattan would be got to 
support them. Mr. Orde replied that he thought 
they would pass in England, and gave them to 
Mr. Foster, who took charge of them, and added 

Mr. Grattan gave rather a reluctant assent to 
some part of them, and the eleventh was subse- 
quently added in order to get the English Parlia- 
ment to agree to them. Mr. Foster then went 
with them to England, and shewed them to Mr. 

* A most active supporter of the rights and privileges of his fellow- 
citizens, and a steady friend of Mr. Grattan in his election contests in 
Dublin. His example ought to be remembered, for few such now 


Pitt, who came to a perfect understanding with 
him on the subject, and promised to get them 
passed in the English Parliament. Accordingly, 
on the faith of this, they were afterwards proposed 
and adopted in the Irish Parliament, and 140,000/. 
new taxes were imposed upon the country in con- 

By these propositions the Irish were to get a 
power of importing into England through Ireland, 
which was a great object for a poor country ; and 
for this Ireland was to give the surplus of the 
hereditary revenue. This hereditary revenue, as 
has been stated in foregoing pages of this work, 
had been granted for ever in the time of Charles 
II. It arose from customs, excise, and hearth 
duties ; so that this was a grant for ever of a fund 
that must, in the nature of things, have increased, 
and with the prosperity of the country might 
become enormous. It was to be disposed of as 
Ministers might think proper, and led to the 
encouragement of frauds in the revenue, and to 
the laying on of oppressive duties and taxes. 

These propositions were not intended as an 
attack upon the freedom of Parliament ; but they 
certainly trenched a good deal upon her powers 
of legislation; they took from Parliament her 
right; they mortgaged that right, and the property 
of the nation, and deprived Parliament of its 
greatest function. It was a covenant declaring a 
right, instead of letting Parliament declare it. 


These propositions would have been very advan- 
tageous to Ireland in a commercial way, though 
not in a constitutional one ; for they would have 
enabled her to import into England and from the 
colonies free from heavy duties, and to make the 
duties that existed in England as low as those 
that existed in Ireland ; but there was in the 
eleventh proposition a grant of the Irish hereditary 
revenue as a tribute ; in fact, a tax to be paid to 

The plan was a very imprudent one, not very 
gracious, and a bad return for what had been 
gotten for Ireland. It was wrong to allow any 
question of that sort to arise between the two 
countries, and should have been cautiously 
avoided. Ireland had obtained a great deal, and 
had made great acquisitions, and her policy 
was to enjoy them and remain tranquil without 
moving anything. But the cry for protecting 
duties, — the distress of the manufacturers, and 
the jealousy of the merchants who thought to 
become rivals of England in commerce, — the rest- 
less disposition of some individuals, and among 
them Mr. Griffith, a person of little weight, — all 
these brought the country into a most awkward 
position, out of which she did not extricate her- 
self without difficulty. She sutfered considerably 
in point of character, and subjected herself to a 
severe charge, which Mr. Pitt in his speeches took 
care to make, and which drew from Mr. Fox the 



painful remark respecting Ireland— " I would 
trust her generosity, but not her prudence." 

As soon as Mr. Foster had concluded this 
negociation with Mr. Pitt, and the Irish had 
agreed to the payment of 140,000/. on the faith 
that the matter had been finally arranged, the 
scene changed ; a new plan was proposed/ and 
Mr. Pitt brought in eighteen new propositions, 
wholly different from those he had agreed to, 
which he had never mentioned before, and which 
he had so made up, that it was impossible they 
could pass in Ireland. 

This was not only a manoeuvre played off on Mr. 
Foster, but a downright cheat upon Ireland, and 
was not the conduct of a minister, but of a trick- 
ster. According to Mr. Pitt's plan, Ireland would 
have suffered extremely. Mr. Pitt professed to 
put both countries on an equality ; but equality in 
this case would have been no equality whatever; 
because one was a poor, and the other a rich, 
nation. In addition, Ireland was to be bound to 
adopt such laws as England might pass respecting 
her commercial concerns. So that the Irish Parlia- 
ment was made a register of British edicts, and 
was to pay a tribute to support her navy, and was 
excluded for ever from the trade to the East. 

When these propositions, in the shape of a bill, 
came from England, they were rejected; and 
although there was a majority of 19 in favour of 
the bill, they were very properly dropped, and 


never afterwards revived. The Duke of Rutland's 
government acted fairly and judiciously; Mr. 
Foster behaved well, and deserved credit for his 
negociation ; but Mr. Pitt's conduct was exceed- 
ingly bad, and never was there greater duplicity 
practised by any minister. Such was the opinion 
of the individuals concerned in the transaction. 
A commercial arrangement might have been made, 
and would have been of use, but certainly not 
such an arrangement as he proposed. 

One object, however, was accomplished ; the 
propositions led to the Union ; and coupled with 
the Regency Question of J 789, and followed by 
the insurrection of 1798, they effected it. 

The groundwork for some commercial arrange- 
ment having been laid in the preceding session, 
Mr. Secretary Orde brought forward, on the 11th 
of February, 1783, his ten resolutions. Mr. 
Foster, however, withdrew the 10th to alter it, 
which was done on the advice of Mr. Grattan, 
with a view to equalize the revenue and expenses 
so as to prevent the practice of running in debt. 

With a view to meet the objections that might 
be made to them in England, the eleventh resolu- 
tion was proposed, by which the surplus of the 
Irish hereditary revenue was to be appropriated 
to the support of the navy of the empire; so that 
England was likely to obtain constantly an in- 
creasing sum for the support of her marine. This 
was objected to by several members, and by Mr. 

ft 2 



Flood in particular. However, all the resolutions 
passed, and were ordered to be laid before His 

Mr. Foster having held out the prospect of 
great acquisitions in trade as the result, thought it 
a good opportunity to get an increase of taxes ; 
and, accordingly, from the hope that the English 
would accede to the measure, he on the 28th of 
February, called on the Parliament to raise 
140,000/. of new taxes, in order that the surplus 
of the hereditary revenue might at once be handed 
over to Great Britain. This proposition was ac- 
ceded to, and Mr. Fitzgibbon used the following 
remarkable words on the occasion : he said, " he 
did not suppose the adjustment to which the Irish 
Parliament had agreed would be rejected by 
Great Britain ; if so, that would lay a just foun- 
dation of jealousy and complaint. He was never 
forward to commit the House, neither would he 
be the first to recede. He wished well to the 
empire, but Ireland was the object of his pre- 

It is a very singular feature in the history of 
Ireland, that the same arts of deception should 
have been practised so often, and with such suc- 
cess. In the time of Charles I., Lord Strafford 
adopted the same mode to get money from the 
Irish ; he pledged the royal word that the King 
would assent to the Graces ; and in the hope that 
the popular rights and liberties which they con- 



ferred would be conceded, he obtained two of the 
largest subsidies ever levied from an Irish Par- 
liament. On the present occasion the minister 
induced the Parliament to believe that the propo- 
sitions would be acceded to, and procured a supply 
of 140,000/. In a few years afterwards, in 1795, 
the minister again held out hopes that concessions 
would be made to Ireland, and obtained 200,000/. 
to man the fleet, a larger subsidy than was ever 
granted before. Again, the third and last time, 
in 1800, in hopes that further and enlarged con- 
cessions would be granted, a total and complete 
surrender took place, not only of the revenue, but 
of the body that granted it; namely, the Lords 
and Commons of Ireland ! How justly Mr. Flood's 
words here apply — " the generous credulity of 
the Irish nation I" 

In England the proceedings in reference to this 
measure were of a different character. The fears, 
the jealousies, and the sordid disposition of the 
mercantile body, were manifested in the strong- 
est manner. On the 25th of January the King 
opened the session of Parliament in England, and 
stated in his speech from the throne, that " among 
the objects that required consideration, he most 
particularly recommended to their attention the 
adjustment of such points in the commercial inter- 
course between Great Britain and Ireland, as were 
not finally arranged. The system which would 
unite both kingdoms the most closely, on princi- 




pies of reciprocal advantage, would, he was per- 
suaded, best increase the general prosperity of his 

On the 22nd of February, Mr. Pitt moved the 
House to go into committee, to consider that part 
of the King's Speech, and the eleven Irish propo- 
sitions were read from the chair. Mr. Pitt's 
speech on this occasion was very remarkable. 
He stated that the people of Ireland called out for 
protecting duties, and clamour was raised, and 
suggestions made, in Dublin and elsewhere, to lay 
duties on British produce and manufactures. He 
begged them to recollect, that from the revolution 
to a period within the memory of every man who 
heard him, until these very few years, the system 
had been that of debarring Ireland from the enjoy- 
merit and use of her own resources, — to make the 
kingdom subservient to the interests and opulence 
of this country, without suffering her to share in the 
bounties of nature, in the industry of her citizens, or 
making them contribute to the general interests and 
strength of the empire. This system of cruel and 
abominable restraint had however been exploded. 
It was at once harsh and unjust, and it was as 
impolitic as it was oppressive ; for however neces- 
sary it might be to the partial benefit of districts 
in Britain, it promoted not the real prosperity and 
strength of the empire. That which had been the 
system, counteracted the kindness of Providence, 
and suspended the industry and enterprise of man. 




Ireland was put under such restraint, that she was 
shut out from every species of commerce. She was 
restrained from sending the produce of her own 
soil to foreign markets, and all correspondence 
with the colonies of Britain was prohibited to her, 
so that she could not derive their commodities 
but through the medium of Britain. This was 
the system which had prevailed, and this was the 
state of thraldom in which that country had been 
kept ever since the revolution. Some relaxation 
of the system, indeed, took place at an early period 
of the present century. Somewhat more of the 
restrictive laws were abated in the reign of George 
II. ; but it was not until a time nearer to our own 
day, and indeed within the last seven years, 
that the system had been completely reversed. 

* * There were but two 

possible systems for countries situated in relation 
to one another like Britain and Ireland. The one 
of having the smaller completely subservient and 
subordinate to the greater ; to make the one, as it 
were, an instrument of advantage, and to make all 
her efforts operate in favour, and conduce merely 
to the interest of the other. This system we had 
tried in respect to Ireland. The other was a par- 
ticipation and community of benefits, and a system 
of equality and fairness, which, without tending to 
aggrandize the one or depress the other, should 
seek the aggregate interests of the empire. Such 
a situation of commercial equality, in which there 


mr. pitt's resolution. [chap. viii. 

was to be a community of benefits, demanded also 
a community of burdens: and it was this situation 
in which he was anxious to place the two coun- 
tries. He stated that he did not apprehend that 
Ireland could furnish the colonies cheaper than 
Britain could, as it must be done circuitously and 
with double duties, double fees, double insurance, 
double commission, all which would operate against 
Ireland. As for the East India Company, they 
had the monopoly of the trade to Asia. The ques- 
tion, then, was, whether it would be wise to give 
to Ireland liberty of importing, and afterwards of 
exporting, to England the produce of the colonies 
in Africa and America. 

Mr. Pitt then moved the following resolution : — 

"That it is the opinion of this Committee, that it is 
highly important to the general interests of the empire 
that the commercial intercourse between Great Britain 
and Ireland should be finally adjusted, and that Ireland 
should be admitted to a permanent and irrevocable parti- 
cipation of the commercial advantages of this country, when 
the Parliament of Ireland shall permanently and irrevocably 
secure an aid out of the surplus of the hereditary revenue of 
that kingdom, towards defraying the expense of protecting 
the general commerce of the empire in time of peace." 

Mr. Fox strongly opposed this resolution, and 
the consideration of it was adjourned to a subse- 
quent day. In the meantime, the manufacturers 
of England took the alarm. London, Liverpool, 
Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Pais- 


ley, and upwards of sixty of the chief trading 
towns, petitioned against the Irish resolutions, on 
the ground that Ireland would get possession of 
their trade and ruin their manufactures. Eighty 
thousand manufacturers from Lancashire peti- 
tioned the House, complaining that the admission 
of Irish cottons into England would ruin the 
manufacture, and annihilate the cotton trade. 
They were allowed to be heard by counsel at the 
bar. Accordingly, Mr. Peel,* Mr. Wedgewood, 
Mr. Richardson, Mr. Walker, and other manu- 
facturers, gave evidence against these propositions 
as most injurious to England. They formed a 
general Chamber of Manufacturers of England 
and Scotland. They assembled in London, and 
appointed Mr. Wedgewood Chairman ; they de- 
clared that Mr. Pitt's resolutions were most inju- 
rious to their trade and commerce ; they stated 
some facts, which, if true, were remarkable — 
That England took of Irish manufactures annually, 
duty free, to the amount of tiuo millions] and that 
Ireland only took from England, duty free, to the 
amount of 30,000/. ; and they insisted that Mr. 
Pitt should have claimed a right to introduce 
English manufactures duty free, for that all the 
manufactures that Ireland took from England 
did not amount to two millions, -\ the quantity that 

* Father of the present Sir Robert Peel. 

t In 1795 the Irish manufactures exported from Ireland amounted to 
3,378,759/., and in 1835, only to 4,310,149/. In the latter year the 
British manufactures imported into Ireland amounted to 4,707,856/. as 
appears from accounts laid btfore Parliament. Thus the Irish exports 




England took, duty free, from Ireland. They 
then submitted their remedy for all these evils, 
and resolved, " That a real union with Ireland, 
under one Legislature, would take away every diffi- 

The Chamber of Commerce of Belfast retorted, 
on the other hand, and pronounced their opinion, 
that the resolutions secured the commerce and 
manufactures of Great Britain at the expense 
of those of Ireland ; — that the 4th proposition 
reduced the Irish Parliament to the degraded 
state of merely registering the edicts of a superior 
assembly, without the power of altering a single 
iota, and cut up by the roots the independence of 
the Irish legislature ; and that the twentieth en- 
acted that a tribute should be paid by Ireland for 
ever to England, thus reducing this independent 
legislature to a mere cypher. 

The following letters will throw some light on 
the subject : — 


Friday, May 13^, 1785. 

My Dear Sir, 
This morning, at about eight o'clock, we came to a division 

only increased from 3 to 4, and the British imports from 2 to 5. It also 
appears that in 1825 Great Britain imported into Ireland three millions 
of yards of woollen, and four millions of cotton goods, and in 1835 she 
imported seven millions of woollen, and fourteen millions of cotton. The 
British manufacturers were therefore very wise in calling for that mea- 
sure " which would take away every difficulty." 

* A great friend of Mr. Grattan's, from whom he got the letter. ' 




upon the first resolution, in a committee of the whole 
House, upon the great business with you. We had a pre- 
vious division upon adjournment, the numbers of which 
were 281 to 155; — the second division upon the question, 
249 to 125. By the management of Opposition, the time 
was frittered away till about nine o'clock, by debates upon 
healing petitioners upon the iron manufacture, which, 
after four or five hours' debate was yielded to, and it took 
up about two hours more. Opposition then contended it 
was too late to begin a debate upon so momentous a 
business. But, however, Mr. Pitt got into the statement 
of it, and in one of the finest, most able, and most eloquent 
speeches I ever heard, of about three hours, he proposed 
several amendments, which if I can get a copy of before 
the post goes out, I will enclose it to you. 

The Opposition flatter themselves you will object to 
them altogether, and that it will affect the point they aim 
at so much — break up the further consideration of the 
business between the two countries. The clamour, and 
the degree of unpopularity they have raised against the 
Minister is not to be conceived. 

Fox confessed that the amendments proposed did in 
many instances draw out the sting, and do away the strong 
ground of objection to several of the resolutions; but both 
he and Lord North contended that there was no necessity- 
whatever for anything more to be conceded to your coun- 
try, and that no further commercial arrangements ought to 
have taken place. He spoke ably and full for the purpose 
he aimed at, and is endeavouring to recover his lost popu- 
larity by courting the feelings of the manufacturing bodies 
and holding up his political opponent as their most dan- 
gerous enemy. Lord North would not go into the ques- 
tion, contending that more time should be given to consider 
the new matter contained in the amendments. 

The question, therefore, cannot be said to have been as 



yet debated, nor will it be now till Thursday next, upon 
the report. Fox declared he would fight the whole of it 
inch by inch ; he would debate every resolution, every 
amendment, and divide the House upon each ; that it was 
a measure that went completely to the destruction of the 
commerce, manufacture, revenue, and maritime strength of 
this country. 

I hope you on your side know and approve the sub- 
stance, at least, of the amendments ; for if you should not 
acquiesce in them, I do really fear that your situation is 
most critical indeed. This is the only moment, in my 
idea, for Ireland to fix her happiness, commercial and 
political, upon a solid and firm base. If pertinacity, or an 
ill-understood punctilio should be suffered to step in, to 
prevent the operation of the good sense of your country, 
and prevent our now coming to a final settlement upon 
some system that may connect the two countries perma- 
nently, and for ever lay asleep every motive of jealousy 
and dispute, every man, either of wisdom or feeling, will 
soon have reason to regret the day when the question was 
first stirred among us, and that anything was done to let 
all loose from the bands of the old situation, before due 
consideration was had upon what should be those of the 
new. But it is idle, my pressing upon you my private 
and crude sentiments, ill-digested and inadequate as they 
must be on a subject of this extensive and very compre- 
hensive nature ; but I own I do feel the utmost anxiety 
upon what may prove the termination of it. What we do 
upon Thursday next, you may rely upon receiving informa- 
tion of from me. 

I am very much concerned to find you have been so long 
confined and so severely indisposed, and heartily hope this 
may find you infinitely relieved. — With the truest regard, 
believe me, dear Sir, Very faithfully yours, 

E. B. 



Stratford Place, June 20th, 1785. 
My dear Gkattan, 
I return you many thanks for your kind letter, which 
I should have received sooner, but that I have been ex- 
tremely ill of a fever for these last two or three days ; I 
believe I caught cold at sea. St. George will communi- 
cate to you the conclusion of the business with Vernon. # 
I trust you will think that Hobart and I have done right 
to the last, and that our honour has not suffered in any 
part of this strange affair. 

1 was very sorry to see by the papers, that you had 
found it necessary to take so strong a part against the 
propositions, the more so, as I cannot, after a very atten- 
tive consideration, discover how they affect the rights of 
Ireland as established in 1782. It would give me infinite 
pain to differ with you on so important a question, but I 
declare I cannot discern the danger you seem to appre- 
hend. Iam persuaded that the Administration here never 
had the invasion of the independence of Ireland in con- 
templation, and I know that they are disposed to give 
every consideration to any doubts which you may enter- 
tain, and to remove your difficulties if possible. I should 
be happy to receive your opinion, and to know in what 
part of the propositions you see a subversion of Irish 
right. The question is of the first magnitude, and most 
materially concerns the peace of both countries ; those 

* This was an affair of a private nature that occurred between Lord 
Mornington and Mr. Vernon, who in his apology to Lord M. made a 
violent attack upon his friend Mr. Hobart ; in consequence of which 
the parties proceeded to Calais, where another apology was given, very 
singular in its nature, but which concluded the business without loss of 


whose object is to disturb that peace, have expressed 
themselves with the greatest triumph in consequence of 
your speech, and are now endeavouring to turn it to pur- 
poses which I know must ever be remote from your mind. 
Pray let me have the pleasure of hearing from you soon. 
The propositions are now with the Lords, and likely to 
remain there till the end of this month. Pray give my 
best compliments to Mrs. Grattan. My brother desires 
his to you and to her. We intend to come to Ireland 
with the propositions. 

Believe me, dear Grattan, yours most sincerely, 


On the 12th of May, Mr. Pitt brought forward 
the eleven Irish propositions, but they were so 
mixed up with amendments, variations, and ad- 
ditions, that they could be scarcely recognized. 

Mr. Fox objected to them, as being entirely 
new propositions, and the reverse of the former. 
Mr. Burke opposed them, and expatiated on the 
resources of Ireland. He stated that she for- 
merly had run in debt, but that after 1761 she 
had advanced so much that she was able to keep 
up an army of 24,000 men, of which 8000 were 
sent abroad to fight for Great Britain, and she 
kept 16,000 at home; that she had sent 33,000 
native recruits to fill up the regiments in the 
British service, and spent 600,000/. in Germany 
to support the war. 

Mr. Wilberforce supported these propositions, 
saying, that the Union was talked of, which he 
conceived to be the best system, but that it was 



impracticable, as Ireland would never consent 
to it. 

Mr. Courtney alluded to the examination of 
the manufacturers ; that one witness had deposed 
that on a capital of 130,000/. vested in the 
business, he employed 6000 hands at work, but 
that in Ireland, a manufacturer, Mr. Brooke, 
with a capital of 80,000/., — (40,000/. his own, 
and 40,000/. voted by the Irish Parliament), had 
employed 10,000 hands on account of the cheap- 
ness of labour ; and he inferred that hence the 
freedom of trade to Ireland would prove injurious 
to Great Britain, and that, in fact, England had 
already been deprived of the three-fourths of the 
trade she had formerly enjoyed in exporting to 

Mr. Fox said, that the sixteenth proposition 
was worded to excite cavil ; that a union was de- 
sirable, but by these measures it was thrown 
farther back than ever; that it was a surrender 
of the East India Charter to Ireland, and that he 
never would consent to ask leave of Ireland to 
renew it ; that the fourth proposition threatened 
the existence of many of the most valuable manu- 
factures in England, and demanded from Ireland 
a surrender of her liberty and independence. 

Mr. Sheridan complained of the insidious con- 
duct of the Minister, in not laying the fourth 
proposition before the Irish Parliament. 

On the 30th May, Mr. Pitt's twenty resolutions 


were again brought forward.* Lord North stated, 
that he did not think there would be any surplus 
of the hereditary revenue. It was granted for ever 
by the Act of Settlement, and Charles II. accord- 
ingly called no more parliaments ; upon which 
the Irish only granted the additional duties upon 
customs and excise for two years, which rendered 
it necessary to have biennial sessions ; — that the 
duties on customs, as appeared from Sir Richard 
Cox's work on the Revenue of Ireland, who was 
himself a Commissioner, amounted only in 1634 
to 87,000/., and in 1784 only to 86,000/., although 
the population had increased from one million to 
2,300,000. He said that the hearth-money tax 
might increase, but quit-rents and crown-rents 
would not. He pressed Mr. Pitt very severely, 
and in reply to him, said, " that he had a mind 
that finds gratification in invective" 

Sir James Erskine said that the whole of this 
was an insult to Ireland — to have resolutions pro- 
posed there by the British Minister, and then to 
find them returned from England totally different 
in spirit and principle; — that Ireland could not be 

Lord Beauchamp said that the fourth resolution 
trenched upon the Act of Renunciation, by which 
Great Britain pledged herself not to renew her 
legislative power. This, he conceived, was ini- 
quitous in the highest degree. 

* See Appendix, No. 3. 



Mr. Courtney said that the people of England 
amounted to eight millions, and their expenses, at 
10/. a-head, would be 80,000,000/.; yet the taxes, 
with their enormous debt, were not one-sixth of 
the income of the people. In Ireland, the popu- 
lation was 2,500,000, — the expense per head, 
say about 21. \0s. : that would be a capital of 
6,250,000/. per annum. Ireland raises in taxes 
1,500,000/., that is, near one-fifth of her income. 
The Irish quit-rents and hearth-money were 
110,000/. a-year ; so that she paid 2s. Gd. in the 
pound, both in peace and war. The rents of 
Ireland were only two millions a-year, while 
those of England were twenty-one millions. 

Sheridan complained that the plan had been 
moved with duplicity and explained with equivocation. 

Mr. Fox concluded a speech with these remark- 
able expressions : " I will not barter English com- 
merce for Irish slavery — that is not the 'price I 
would pay, nor the thing I would pureliase.'" 

After long and violent debating, in which much 
party spirit appeared on both sides, Mr. Pitt's 
twenty resolutions passed the House of Commons. 

These proceedings have been thus particu- 
larised, because they were of much importance to 
both kingdoms : they showed their relative situ- 
ations, and disclosed the secret springs that 
moved, and the spirit of monopoly that influenced, 
the political movements ; and above all, that 
commercial jealousy which every where creates 

vol. III. s 



so many enemies. The indirectness (to use no 
harsher term) which the minister exhibited on 
this occasion, caused him to fall in the good 
opinion of many among the Irish people, and 
filled with distrust the minds even of his political 

The reception, however, that awaited Mr. 
Pitt's propositions in Ireland was very different 
from that which he expected. The Irish House 
of Commons had adjourned for a fortnight in 
order that time might be given to the British 
minister to fulfil the promise he had made to 
the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer. But 
when the twenty* English propositions appeared, 
they threw the entire country into a flame. 
Mr. Grattan, who had assisted Mr. Orde and Mr. 
Foster in forwarding the ten Irish propositions, 
considered the new resolutions as most injurious 
to Ireland, — a direct attack upon her legislative 
authority, — and a breach of faith with Mr. Foster ; 
and he protested against them in the strongest 
manner. Mr. Conolly also declared that he 
had voted for the new taxes in the confidence that 
the Irish, resolutions would be agreed to, but 
that now all confidence was lost. Mr. Denis 
Browne even displayed the character of a patriot ; 
he reprobated the idea of a union which had been 
suggested in England— an idea which he said he 
was almost afraid to mention ; "for what union 

* See Appendix, No. 3. 



could we have with Great Britain but the union of 
debt and taxation — depriving us of liberty, and 
ruinous to our country.''* 

On the 12th of August, Mr. Orde moved the 
propositions in the shape of a bill, such as Mr. 
Pitt had introduced into the British House. It 
encountered, however, a most formidable oppo- 
sition. Mr. Grattan, Mr. Flood, Mr. Brownlow, 
Mr. Hardy, Mr. Forbes, and Mr.Corry particularly 
distinguished themselves; and after along debate, 
the motion was carried only by a majority of 19 : 
ayes 127, noes 108. 

A few days afterwards, Mr. Orde presented his 
bill, declaring, however, that it was not his inten- 
tion to press it in the course of this session. The 
subject was dropped, and never afterwards re- 
newed. Dublin was illuminated in consequence 
of the defeat of these propositions, and resolutions 
expressive of joy and congratulation, were passed 
at public meetings, and by the grand juries 
throughout the country. 

The speech which Mr. Grattan delivered on the 
12th of August, was distinguished for its elevated 
style and for its ability. The subject was one 
which possessed peculiar interest for him, as it 
involved an attack upon the Constitution that 
he had helped to create. By this speech he was 
restored to his former popularity, and was praised 

* "Oh si sic omnia!" — Subsequently he was one of its most 
strenuous supporters. 

9 2 


by the very men and the party that had before so 
much assailed him;* and again he became the 
favourite of the people. 

In a letter to Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Corry writes 
an account of the debate as follows : 

" I congratulate with you on 108 minority, against 127. 
The business never can go on. They were astonished, and 
looked the sorriest devils you can imagine. Orde's exhi- 
bition was pitiful indeed, — the support of his party weak 
and open to attack, — the debate on their part really poor. 
On ours, Conolly, O'Neill, and the other country gentle- 
men, strong and of great weight, — Grattan able and eloquent 
in an uncommon degree, — every body in high spirits, and 
altogether a force that was irresistible; we divided at nine 
this morning, on leave to bring in a Bill for the settlement. 
The ground fought upon was the fourth resolution, and the 
principle of that in the others. The commercial detail did 
not belong accurately to the debate, though some went 
over it in a cursory way. Grattan, two hours and a half ; 
Flood, as much ; the former brilliant, well attended to, and 

* The following was one of the numerous remarks that appeared in 
the publications of the day : — 

" Mr. Grattan, by his late noble conduct in standing forth again the 
champion of his injured country, has revived the drooping laurels that 
once crowned his fame, and reared a monument in the hearts of his 
fellow subjects that no time will destroy, but which may justly said to 
be are perennius. His having declined the perhaps hurtful practice of 
an uniform opposition to all the measures of Government, and reserved 
himself for some great occasion equal to the exertion of his talents, and 
demanding all the fervour of his patriotic zeal, will render his labours 
at present more successful, and put the irrevocable seal to the purity of 
his principles. His country hails him like some friendly star breaking 
forth on the benighted mariner, almost overwhelmed by the pitiless 



much admired; the latter tedious from detail, of course, 
not so well heard, and answered by Foster in detail, to 

"The Attorney-general defended the Constitutional set- 
tlement under the fourth resolution principle. Orde men- 
tioned the opposition in England twice in his opening 
speech, with imputations, or insinuations at least, not very 
favourable. You were not left undefended. Forbes ex- 
erted his warm attachment to you with great effect. Burgh, 
the flag-ship of the Leinster squadron, gave a well-sup- 
ported fire pointed against Pitt, and covering you. Hardy, 
(the Bishop of Down's friend) in a very elegant speech, gave 
you due honour; and I had the satisfaction of a slight 
skirmish, which called up the Attorney-general," &c. 

On the loth of August, Mr. Corry writes, — u I 
wish you joy a thousand times of our complete 
victory. Orde has offered the bill, moved its 
being printed for his own justification to the 
country, and no more of it this session. We have 
the effects of a complete victory." 


Tinnehinch, 1785. 

My Dear Day, 
Looking over the publication, I see a mistake in page 32, 
line 14: the word "constitution" should be "connexion /" 
and in page 36, line 26, the word "constitutional" should 
be " ?//*constitutional f they may be set right in the errata. 

The publication of the advertisement has not yet ap- 
peared ; the first speech of mine is very well taken, and so 
is the last; but the second speech I never spoke ; in that I 
am made to say what is self-evidently impossible I should 


say ; there I am made to say that we get the colony trade, 
on condition of excluding foreign colony produce, — where- 
as the contrary is the purport and tenor of my uniform 
declarations. Mr. Foster's argument was, that foreign 
trade was not affected ; my position the contrary. His proof 
was, that our trade in European produce was not affected ; 
my proof that your trade in the produce of all foreign 
plantations, and the neutral countries in Asia and America, 
was affected. My second speech, as far as the substance 
went, was correctly taken in the Hibernian of the 17th and 
19th of August, and if Byrne should publish a register, 
caution him that he may take my speeches on Monday 
15th, from them, not from Woodfall; however, this cannot 
be remedied now in WoodfalPs publication. I wish you 
could procure for me the Hibernian of the 17th or 19th of 
last August.. Yours, most sincerely, 

H. Grattan. 


Tinnehinchj Sept. 1785. 

My Dear Day, 
I wish you would take the enclosed to the Dublin Evening 
Post, and get them to publish it three times. It perhaps 
should be paid for as an advertisement. I think it material to 
correct the error, for this reason, — the Government affected 
to say we did not understand their Bill, which they them- 
selves misstated and obscured. I request you will call on 
Whyte, the printer of the work, and request he will write 
to Woodfall immediately, in order to correct in the English 
editions, those mistakes ; and further, I wish you would 
get Whyte to assure Woodfall at the same time, that it is 
the most correctly taken debate I ever read. In page 29, 
line 20, the word " extension" should be extinction ; and 
in page 33, line 37, an and should be inserted between the 



words u God — the community." I wish Whyte would 
alter this with his pen. Yours sincerely, 

H. Grattan. 

The following are some of the principal pas- 
sages in Mr. Grattan's speech on the occasion : — 

" I would not harbour a slavish principle, nor give it the 
hospitality of a night's lodging in a land of liberty ! 
Slavery is like any other vice, — tolerate, and you embrace. 
You should guard your constitution by settled maxims of 
honour, as well as wholesome rules of law; and one maxim 
should be, never to tolerate a condition which trenches on 
the privileges of Parliament, or derogates from the pride 
of the island. Liberal in matters of revenue — practicable 
in matters of commerce : on these subjects I would be 
inexorable. If the genius of old England came to that 
bar, with the British Constitution in one hand, and in the 
other an offer of all that England retains, or all that she 
has lost of commerce, I should turn my back on the latter, 
and pay my obeisance to the blessings of her Constitution. 
# # * • I beseech you to consider that situation, and to 
contemplate the powers of your own country, before you 
agree to surrender them. Recollect that you have now a 
right to trade with the British plantations, in certain 
articles, without reference to British duties; that you have 
a right to trade with the British plantations in every other 
article, subject to the British duties; that you have a right 
to get clear of each and every part of that bargain ; that 
you have a right to take the produce of foreign planta- 
tions, subject to your own unstipulated duties; that you 
have a right to carry on a free and unqualified trade with 
the United States of North America ; that you have a 
right to an experimental trade in countries contiguous to 



which Great Britain has established her monopolies ; the 
power of trade this, and an instrument of power, and 
station, and authority in the British Empire ! Consider 
that you have likewise a right to the exclusive supply of 
your own market, and to the exclusive reserve of the rudi- 
ment of your manufactures; that you have an absolute 
dominion over the public purse, and over the collection of 
the revenue. If you ask me how you shall use these 
powers, I say — for Ireland, with due regard to the British 
nation: let them be governed by the spirit of concord, and 
with fidelity to the connection; but when the mover of the 
bill asks me to surrender these powers, I am astonished at 
him. I have neither ears, nor eyes, nor functions to make 
such a sacrifice. What ! that free trade, for which we 
exerted every nerve in 1779! — that free constitution, for 
which we pledged life and fortune in 1782 ! Our lives are 
at the service of the empire ; but — our liberties? No : we 
received them from our Father which is in heaven, and we 
will hand them down to our children ! # # # 

" In the meantime, we will guard our free trade and 
Constitution as our only resources : they were the struggles 
of great virtue, the result of much perseverance, and our 
broad base of public action ! We should recollect that this 
House may now, with peculiar propriety interpose, because 
you did with great zeal and success, on this very subject 
of trade, bring on the people ; and you did, with great 
prudence and moderation, on another occasion, check a 
certain description of the people, and you are now called 
upon by consistency to defend the people. Thus medi- 
ating between extremes, you will preserve this island long, 
and preserve her with a certain degree of renown. Thus 
faithful to the Constitution of the country, you will com- 
mand and ensure her tranquillity : for our best authority 
with the people is, protection afforded against the Ministers 


of the Crown. It is not public clamour, but public injury 
that should alarm you : your high ground of expostulation 
with your fellow-subjects has been your services : the free 
trade you have given the merchant, and the free consti- 
tution you have given the island ! Make your third great 
effort: preserve them, and with them preserve, unaltered, 
your own calm sense of public right, the dignity of the 
Parliament, the majesty of the people, and the powers of 
the island : keep them unsullied, uncovenanted, uncircum- 
scribed, and unstipendiary ! These paths are the paths to 
glory : and let me add, these ways are the ways of peace. 
So shall the posterity of your country, though without a 
tongue to thank you, yet laden with the blessings of Con- 
stitution and of commerce, bear attestation to your services, 
and wait on your progress with involuntary praise!"* 

• For list of the division on this debate, and the Irish propositions, 
see Appendix 4. 



Mr. Orde abandons his Commercial Bill— Mr. Curran's Speech — Mr. 
Fitzgibbon's attack upon Ireland — Repelled by Curran and Flood — 
Attack of Fitzgibbon upon Curran — Curran's Retort — Duel — Anec- 
dote respecting the debate — Speaker Pery resigns — His letter to the 
House — Letters of Mr. Grattan, Pery, and Conolly — Close of the 
Session — Exports and Imports of Ireland — Prosperous state of the 
Country — Gay Court of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland — Amica- 
ble intercourse of all parties — Poem of Sir H. Langrishe on the 

' Duchess — Meeting of Parliament in 1786 — Pension List — Disturb- 
ances in the South ensuing from Tithes — Riot Act — Navigation Act 
— Clause of Sacrilege introduced by Mr. Fitzgibbon — Mr. Grattan's 
Speech — Mr. Fitzgibbon's attack on the English Opposition and on 
Mr. Grattan — Reply of the latter — Mr. Orde submits a plan of Edu- 
cation for Ireland. 

On the 15th of August, 1785, Mr. Orde presented 
his bill, and moved that it should be read a first 
time and printed, in order that it might be circu- 
lated through the country. This was carried, but 
not without several negative voices. 

Mr. Flood next proposed a resolution — " That 
Parliament ought not to enter into any engage- 
ment to give up the sole and exclusive right to 
legislate for Ireland, as well externally as com- 
mercially and internally." In order to supersede 
this motion, the question of adjournment was pro- 
posed, and a long debate took place, when Mr. 
Orde declared that he would not press the bill 
any farther, or renew it next year if the sense of 
the country was against it 3 




Mr. Curran congratulated the House and the 
country, on the escape they had from this bill. 

"The bill is at an end. The cloud that had been collect- 
ing so long, and threatening to break into tempest and 
ruin on our heads, had passed harmlessly away. The 
siege that was drawn round the Constitution was raised, 
and the enemy was gone. Juvat ire et dorica castra, — and 
we may now go abroad without fear, and trace the dangers 
from w hich we have escaped. Here was drawn the line of 
circumvallation that cut us off for ever fiom the eastern 
world, and there the corresponding one that enclosed us 
from the west ; nor let us, in our exultation, forget to whom 
we are indebted for this deliverance. Here stood the 
trusty mariner, Mr. Conolly, on his old station, the mast- 
head, and gave the signal ! — Here Mr. Flood : all the 
wisdom of the state was collected, exploring your weak- 
ness and your strength, detecting every ambuscade, and 
pointing to the hidden battery that was brought to bear 
on the shrine of freedom ; and there, Mr. Grattan was 
exerting an eloquence more than human — inspiring, form- 
ing, directing, animating to the great purpose of your 

The Attorney-general stated that the resolution 
of Mr. Flood was an insult to the Parliament of 
Great Britain. " If Ireland," said he, " seeks to 
quarrel with Great Britain, she is a besotted 
nation. Great Britain is not easily roused, nor 
easily appeased. Ireland is easily roused, and 
easily put down." 

The Attorney-general was here repeatedly called 
to order, and warmly pressed by Mr. Flood ; who 
said " he had never heard more mischievous or 


more inflammatory language, nor more saucy 
folly." Mr. Foster proposed that these words be 
taken down, but afterwards withdrew the motion. 

The Attorney-gen. persevered and said — "The politically 
insane gentleman (Mr. Curran), has asserted much, but he 
only emitted some effusions of the witticisms of fancy. 
His declamation indeed was better calculated for the stage 
of Sadlers Wells than the floor of a House of Commons. 
A mountebank with but one half the honourable gentle- 
man's theatrical talent for rant, would undoubtedly make 
his fortune. However, I am somewhat surprised he should 
entertain such a particular asperity against me, as I never 
did him any favour. But, perhaps the honourable gentle- 
man imagines he may talk himself into consequence ; if so, 
I should be sorry to obstruct his promotion : he is heartily 
welcome to attack me. One thing, however, I will assure 
him, that I hold him in so small a degree of estimation, 
either as a man or a lawyer, that I shall never hereafter 
deign to make him any answer." 

Mr. Curran retorted : he says — " I have poured forth 
some witticisms of fancy. That is a charge I shall never 
be able to retort upon him. He has said, I am insane. 
For my part, were I the man, who, when all debate had 
subsided : who, when the bill had fallen to the ground, and 
the bill was given up, had risen for the purpose of pro- 
nouncing an inflammatory speech against my country, I 
should be obliged to any friend who would excuse my con- 
duct by attributing it to insanity. Were I the man who 
could commit a murder upon the reputation of my country, 
I would thank the friend that would excuse my conduct 
by attributing it to insanity. Were I a man possessed of 
so much arrogance, as to set up the ideas of my own little head 
against the opinion of the nation, I would thank the friend 
who would say- * Heed him not, he is insane nay, if I 




were such a man, I would thank the friend who would 
send me to Bedlam. If I knew one man who was easily- 
roused and as easily appeased, I would not give his character 
as that of the whole nation. The right honourable gentle- 
man says he never came here with written speeches. I 
never suspected him of it, and I believe there is not a 
gentleman in this House, who, having heard what has 
fallen from him, will ever suspect him of writing speeches. 
But 1 will not pursue him further — I will not combat with 
a young fencer. When a pass is made at me by a young 
arm, I will content myself with warding it off, — I will not 
enter into a conflict in which victory can gain no honour. 
The right honourable gentleman should have known that 
on former occasions I was merciful in my resentment. " 

During the debate, an amusing incident oc- 
curred. Mr. Flood was high in wrath with Mr. 
Fitzgibbon, who had replied very sharply to him. 
Flood felt it, pressed Fitzgibbon very much, and 
used a strong but apposite expression, " that he 
had never heard more saucy folly." Every one 
thought that Fitzgibbon would have noticed this ; 
and he was well provided with a reply, — for Denis 
Daly had prepared one, intending to attack Flood 
for his conduct in the Convention ; but not using 
it, he gave it to Yelverton. Yelverton did not use 
it, and gave it to Fitzgibbon. Thus Fitzgibbon 
went to battle in another man's armour. But he 
did not like to encounter such an antagonist as 
Flood, and declined to use it. The Speaker, who 
recollected the circumstance, and apprehended 
some mischief, very fortunately was taken ill, or 




[chap. IX. 

pretended to be so, and thus the philippic was 
lost, and an unseemly quarrel very fortunately 

The result of this reply of Mr. Curran, was a 
message from Mr. Fitzgibbon. The matter might 
have been adjusted, had it not been for the med- 
dling of some of the people about the Court, who, 
as in many cases seek only to do mischief, not 
having at heart the interest of the parties. Mr. 
Ogle was second to the Attorney-general. He 
was a man of courage certainly ; yet the matter 
terminated in a manner by no means creditable to 
his friend. The parties were to fire by signal. 
Mr. Fitzgibbon did not do so, but reserving his 
fire, he took deliberate aim at Mr. Curran, and 
having missed him, he walked off the ground with- 
out receiving or even asking for an apology, or 
firing a second time, although he had been the 
challenger, in a case where the object was to 
obtain satisfaction. Mr. Curran observed to him, 
"It was not your fault, Mr. Attorney, if you missed 
me, for you were deliberate enough."* 

* In the " Recollections" of Curran, by Mr. Charles Phillips, and in 
the Life of Curran, by his son, this duel is represented as arising from 
the charge made by Mr. Fitzgibbon against Mr. Curran in the debate of 
the 24th of February, that he was a " puny babbler;" whereas it was 
a public and not a private cause, and took place six months after, .on 
the subject of the Propositions (15th August), from the attack of Mr. 
Fitzgibbon, not on Mr. Curran, but on his country. Mr. Grattan was in 
the House, and was at this time on good terms with Fitzgibbon, and 
probably did not wish to press him. Curran got up to reply, and did 
it well. This no doubt was one of the causes of the enmity that sub- 
sisted between the parties ever after. 


The advanced age of the Speaker, who was now 
sixty-seven, and the decline of his health, induced 
him to resign his office, which he had filled with 
so much credit to himself for upwards of fourteen 
years. He was succeeded by Mr. Foster. Mr. 
Denis Daly, in proposing a vote of thanks, ob- 
served that the House was peculiarly called upon 
to treat the retirement of such a man with every 
mark of respect, and to demonstrate in what high 
esteem they held his integrity, his wisdom, and 
his moderation, and to prove that turbulence and 
meanness were not the only roads to preferment. 
He moved, — 

" The thanks of the House to be given to Mr. Pery for 
his constant and unwearied attendance in the chair during 
the course of above fourteen years, in three successive 
parliaments, — for the unshaken integrity and steady impar- 
tiality of his conduct there, and for the indefatigable pains 
and uncommon abilities with which he had constantly 
exerted himself to promote the real interest of this country, 
to maintain the honour and dignity of Parliament, and to 
preserve inviolable the rights and privileges of the Com- 
mons of Ireland." 

For these services he was compensated with a 
pension of 3,000/. a-year for life, together with a 
peerage. Mr. Grattan's letter on this occasion is 
an additional testimony that public worth could 
be appreciated and rewarded as it deserved. 


Sept. 7th, 1785. 

Dear Sir, 

I have this moment received your very kind letter of 

272 MR. grattan's respect testified, [chap, IX. 

yesterday, inclosing the resolution of the House of Com- 
mons, which confers on me the highest honour. The first 
object of my wishes has been to deserve their approbation, 
and that resolution has satisfied the utmost of my ambition, 
and left to posterity a noble monument of their favour. 
No words can express with sufficient force my gratitude, 
or what I feel. The only return I can make, will be to 
offer up to Heaven my constant and fervent prayers that 
the Commons of Ireland may ever preserve the Constitution 
of the kingdom entire; and that their conduct may be 
rewarded by the approbation of their sovereign and the 
confidence of the people, 

I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, 
esteem, and regard, dear Sir, your most obliged and most 
obedient servant, 

Edmund Sexton Pery. 


Tinnehinch, Sept, 15, 1785. 

My Dear Sir, 
There was nothing which gave me more concern than the 
want of an opportunity of bearing the testimony of one 
man, in common with every one else, to the merit of the 
person who lately filled the chair of the House of Commons* 
The question of thanking him was so rapidly put, and so 
greedily assented to, that I had not a moment's time to 
gratify my private feelings, and to fulfil a public duty. 
Had I been fortunate enough to have done so, I should 
have said that the first man who, in the Parliament of this 
age, denied the supremacy of Great Britain, — the first man 
who conceived a demand of trade,— and the person who in 
his closet formed and drew the most productive acts for 
the strength and prosperity of this country, was the late 
Speaker, who did good without looking to fame, and who 




tempered public zeal with a discretioii that gave it decorum 
and efficacy. 

Could I form a wish to perpetuate the independency, 
character, and pride of our House of Commons, it would 
be that the members should retain undiminished the 
full, the deliberative powers of the legislature, and that 
the person who fills its chair should resemble his prede- 

I am, dear Sir, with the greatest respect and regard, 
Yours most sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 

mr. pery to mr. g rattan. 

17^ Sept., 1785. 

My Dear Grattan, 
Though 1 am sensible your friendship has much over- 
rated my merit, yet I confess 1 feel an honest pride in the 
approbation of a man whose opinion has, and deserves 
to have, the greatest weight with the public ; nor is 
my mind less elated by the marks of his friendship whom 
I esteem most highly, and love most sincerely. 

I am, my dear Grattan, 
Your most obliged and most affectionate 

Edmund Pery. 

Notwithstanding the declaration of the Secre- 
tary, apprehensions were still entertained that 
something respecting the propositions might be 
introduced in the address at the close of the 
session. This apprehension seems to have roused 
even Mr. Conolly, who was not in general con- 
spicuous for taking an active part against the 
Government. His vigilance upon the occasion 
was, therefore, more striking. He wrote to Mr. 




Grattan, to request his attendance at the conclu- 
sion of the session. 


Castletown, Saturday morning, Sept, 3, 1785. 
Dear Sir, 

I know that something is intended to be brought into the 
address to the Lord-lieutenant, which may be productive 
of future mischief. I therefore hope to see you in the House 
upon that occasion ; for although we cannot divide, from 
the want of numbers, yet such an attempt, at this season 
of the year, with the greatest part of the members absent, 
ought, as old Tisdal says, to be observed upon. If nothing 
but compliments and words of course were to compose it, I 
think that a word ought not to be said. 

I am, dear Sir, yours most sincerely, 

Thos. Conolly. 

When the House met, Mr. Orde proposed that 
Mr. Foster should take the chair as Speaker, 
which was agreed to without opposition ; and the 
next day, the session closed with a speech from 
the throne, in which the following allusion was 
the only one made to the propositions : — 

My Lords and Gentlemen, 
Although the very advanced season of the year renders 
it expedient to conclude the present session of Parliament, 
I flatter myself that the great object of adjusting a com- 
mercial intercourse with Great Britain, has not in vain en 
gaged your attention and protracted your deliberations. 
You have repeatedly expressed your wishes for the attain- 
ment of an equitable settlement, and I have the satisfaction 
to observe that you continue to be impressed with a true 
sense of its necessity and importance. You will have now 



the fullest leisure to pursue your consideration of the sub- 
ject in private, with that dispassionate assiduity which it 
so eminently deserves." 

Notwithstanding the ill-humour that had been 
produced by the failure of the question of Reform, 
— by the unconstitutional proceedings on the sub- 
ject of the attachments, — and, lastly, by the 
propositions, it is certain that Ireland now began 
to reap the benefit of her late exertions.* Her 
trade and her commerce were increasing; her taxes 
were inconsiderable, and her debt was light, 

* In proof of the benefits resulting from the free trade obtained in 

1779, it appeared that in the commerce with the West Indies, Ireland 

imported in 1781, 7,000 cwt. of sugar; in 1782, 18,000 cwt.; in 1783— 

1784, 33,000 cwt. 

Exports from Ireland to Great Britain in 1781. 

Of Irish produce £2,180,215 7 11| 

Of foreign goods 7,191 7 If 

£2,187,406 15 0» 

Imports from Great Britain to Ireland in 1781. 

Of British produce £1,579,746 10 

Of foreign goods 852,671 13 

£2,432,417 13 10 

Balance in favour of Great Bri- 
tain, and against Ireland . . £245,010 18 8J 

Exports from Ireland to Great Britain in 1782. 

Of Irish produce £2,699,825 13 1) 

Of foreign goods 9,941 4 6 J- 

£2,709,766 18 2 

Imports from Great Britain to Ireland in 1782. 

Of British produce £1,529,359 1 Hi 

Of foreign goods 828,587 8 9 

£2,357,946 10 8J 

Balance in favour of Ireland ... . £351,820 7 G± 



[chap. IX. 

amounting only to 1,584,520/. ; the balance of 
trade was in her favour, her exports exceeding 
four millions, her imports exceeding three. The 
office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, which had 
hitherto been held by an absentee residing in 
England, had, by the late Lord-lieutenant, been 
(as it was termed) brought home to Ireland. Mr. 
Gerard Hamilton had resigned ; Mr. Foster, and 
after him Sir John Parnell, was appointed in his 
place. The nobility and gentry were mostly 
resident and expended their incomes in their 
country, and among their tenants, instead of 
drawing their rents to squander in a foreign land. 
The business of Parliament and the gay court 
that was now held in Dublin, attracted and de- 
tained the proprietors of the soil, and in some 
degree remedied the evil occasioned by a cir- 
cumstance which is peculiar to Ireland, namely, 
that the great portion of the territory is held by 
British absentees, who usually live in England, 
and draw thither the resources of the island, leav- 
ing the people deprived of the benefits that follow 
from their example, their encouragement, and 
their protection. The landlords began to improve 
their estates, and the admission of Roman Catho- 
lics to purchase landed property gave new life and 
spirit to industry, and all held out the fair pros- 
pect that the country and her inhabitants would 
become prosperous and flourishing, and that a 
peasantry would soon appear the pride and orna- 




ment of a nation. Such were the pleasing pros- 
pects that presented themselves at the period of 
the Duke of Rutland's administration. 

No hostile disposition was evinced towards the 
people ; and, with some few exceptions, which 
were produced more by the character of t lie indi- 
vidual than by the complexion of the Government, 
it may be said that, from 1783 to 1788, the ad- 
ministration was friendly to Ireland. Mr. Foster's 
Libel Bill, introduced April 1785, certainly was 
of an arbitrary nature. However, the clause that 
compelled printers and publishers of unstamped 
papers to prove where they received them, and 
subjected them to fine and imprisonment, by 
warrant of a justice of the peace, was withdrawn, 
and also that one which obliged printers to give 
500/. security to meet any civil suit that might be 
instituted against them. 

The Duke of Rutland was by no means a bad 
Governor. He was a weak man, and he was 
young, but of gallant bearing, and great spirit; 
handsome in his person, and pleasing in his man- 
ner, the true descendant of the celebrated and 
popular Marquess of Granby. His government, 
though expensive and dissipated, was not a bad 
one ; it certainly added to the pension list, and 
committed some acts that were below its dignity ; 
but these could scarcely be set forth as national 
grievances, or form a ground for general com- 




His Court was gay, luxurious, and extravagant,* 
and was upheld by a splendour hitherto unprece- 
dented, and since unequalled, but to whose dissipa- 
tion he unfortunately may have been considered to 
have fallen a victim. The Duchess, so distinguished 
for her beauty, became not only the object of at- 
traction, but even of more than admiration. Gene- 
ral Cradock, Denis Daly and Sir Hercules Langrishe, 
were high on the list of votaries and admirers ; and 
while the Duchess adorned the revelry of the 
Castle by her smiles and charms, Sir Hercules 
enlivened it by his wit and mirth. Ministerialist 
and oppositionist seemed to have laid down their 

* There was in Parliament a good-humoured character, one Godfrey 
Greene ; he was often a guest of the Duke of Rutland, fond of the table, 
of conviviality, of joking, and of telling long stories ; the latter he some- 
times introduced in the House of Commons ; and on one occasion he 
complained of the size of wine bottles, and lamented that no law was 
passed on the subject to make a quart bottle contain a quart. In the 
violence of his action, his dress became discomposed, and his waistcoat 
got unbuttoned. To amuse the Lord-lieutenant, Mr. Richard Martin, 
who was a very good mimic, used to take him off making this speech, 
but he went rather too far, and instead of taking out half, pulled out the 
whole of his chemise. The Duke, who liked Greene, for he always sup- 
ported the Government, took his part, and said, " No, not quite so 
much, — poor Greene was not so profuse as you, Mr. Martin." 

Some of the ministry asked for an office for Greene, and on con- 
versing with the Lord-lieutenant, said, " But what shall I tell him you 
are giving it to him for? shall I tell him it is because he voted against the 
Declaration of Rights ? " « No," exclaimed the Duke, " no, don't say 
that." " Well, shall 1 tell him it is because he voted against the repeal 
of Poyning's Law?" "No, damn it, don't say that." " Well, shall I 
tell him it is because he voted for the Embargo ?" The Duke perceiving 
the satire, replied, " Oh, no, tell him it is because he is a damned 
honest fellow !" 


arms at the feet of beauty in search of repose and 
enjoyment. These gratified the taste, though 
they somewhat impaired the dignity of the Court, 
and inflicted a wound upon the morality of the 
island, which has ever been its proud characteris- 
tic. This mixture of refined gallantry, and the 
cessation of political hostility, seemed to be the 
reward of those political warriors, and a compensa- 
tion after all their toils. They had succeeded in 
1782, they had got over the difficulties of 1783, 
and the Volunteer Convention ; they got rid of the 
propositions, and they relaxed from their labours 
in 1785, and 17^G; the lively disposition of the 
nation, and the gallantry of her people expanded 
itself with freedom and without reserve, and all 
parties seemed disposed to enjoy some pleasant 
moments under this administration ; every one 
sought to add to the gaiety of the hour. Cel- 
bridge and Vanessa's bower were here invoked. 
Dean Marlay, then the possessor, contributed his 
taste and talent to the amusements of the day. 
Parties were given in honour of the Duchess, and 
having expressed a w T ish to tread this classic 
ground, she was introduced by Langrishe to the 
sacred spot, and placed, a second Vanessa, in 
Swift's favourite bower, where, attired in the cha- 
racter of a labouring man, he presented the fol- 
lowing verses to her Grace, probably with a 
moral not more severe than that of the famed 
dignitary of the church, and with an attachment 
to the sex more creditable and more sincere. 



Bright Stella here to view the conscious shade 
Where wit in time of old, with passion play'd ; 
When last beneath this consecrated grove, 
Cadenus * taught Vanessa how to love, 
And sweet Vanessa, to reward his flame,. 
Immortalised this arbour with her name. 
But, heavenly messenger, vouchsafe to say, 
Why bend on mortals your resistless sway ? 
Why condescend from your exalted sphere 
To spread a formidable glory here? 
Before the lightning of your eyes was seen, 
The girls were pretty, and the fields were green ; 
The nymphs and swains, to higher bliss unknown^ 
Felt equal joys and raptures of their own. 
But, now,, alas ! those nymphs are left forlorn ; 
Their beauty slighted, and their swains forsworn ; 
All bow before you in obeisance meet : 
The soldier f lays his laurels at your feet; 
For you the lawyer J bends the stubborn knee, 
Forgets his disputation and his fee ; 
You steal between the parson § and his dues ; 
Between the politician and his news ; 
Between the statesman and his public cares ; 
Between the pious prelate |f and his prayers; 
Anacreon 5[ too, lies bleeding, as I 'm told, — 
Altho' they say Anacreon is grown old. 
Then re-assume your station in the skies ; 
Assist the sun-beams with your brighter eyes. 

* See Dean Swift's poem, " Cadenus and Vanessa." 

f General G'Hara, commander-in-chief. 

I Fitzgibbon, afterwards Lord Chancellor. 

§ Dean Marlay, afterwards Bishop of Waterford. 

|| The Bishop of Ferns, the confidential friend of the Duke of Rut- 
land, and his private secretary. So attached was the Duchess of Rut- 
land to him, that she erected a monument to his memory in the cathedral 
of Ferns. The inscription of which was written by Sir H. Langrishe. 

1f Sir Hercules Langrishe, who wrote a poem to the duchess under the 
appellation of Anacreon to Stella. 


Once more amidst the heavenly bodies roam, 
And leave poor mortals satisfied at home ; 
So shall respecting swains resume their duty, 
So shall the gods take pleasure in your beauty. 

Another poem, and rather of a warmer charac- 
ter, was said to have been addressed to the 
duchess by the same individual. 

When you tell me your heart is another's, 

That our passions can never agree, 
That a flame in your bosom now smothers, 

Which never was kindled by me. 
But you mean that your friendship's soft balm, 

Unassisted by amorous sighs, 
Should all my disquietudes calm, 

And heal all the wounds of your eyes. 

Now, alas ! though you call me your friend, 

Though that favour you'd freely impart, 
Yet I feel that my wishes don't end ; 

I would still have some share in your heart. 
So perhaps in your soul you may trace 

Some fond intermediate degree - ! 
Between friendship and love — some soft space 

If such, then, oh ! give it to me. 

Although the session of 1785 had closed by a' 
speech that indicated the question of the propo- 
sitions might be renewed, still the subject was not 
brought forward in the ensuing- year, and nothing 
of consequence occurred, except the introduction 
of a bill by Mr. Forbes, to limit the amount of 
pensions, which he stated to be 96,000/. a-year, 
and exceeding the pension list of Great Britain. 
Mr. Grattan got the clerk to read the list from be- 
ginning to end : it irritated Government not a 





little, and must have consumed no inconsiderable 
portion of time, for the names therein amounted 
to upwards of 240. There were not many deserv- 
ing public favour. Hawke, Rodney, Burgh and 
Pery, were the few unexceptionable names that 
could be selected. Mr. Grattan, after its perusal, 
declared, that if "he should affirm that the pen- 
sion list was not a grievance, he would affirm in 
the face of his country, an impudent, insolent, 
and a public falsehood." 

This bill, however, on the second reading, was 
opposed by Government, and was defeated by a 
majority of 134 to 78. Mr. Grattan's speech on 
the subject was judicious and constitutional. Mr. 
Curran's was amusing : — he said — " This polyglot 
of wealth, this museum of curiosities, the pension 
list, embraces every link in the human chain, — 
every description of men, women, and children, 
from the exalted excellence of a Hawke or a 
Rodney, to the debased situation of a lady who 
humbleth herself that she may be exalted. But 
the lessons it inculcates form its greatest per- 
fection :—it teacheth that sloth and vice may eat 
that bread, which virtue and honesty may starve 
for after they have earned it. It teaches the idle 
and dissolute to look up for that support, which 
they are too proud to stoop and earn. It directs 
the minds of men to an entire reliance on the 
ruling power of the state, who feeds the ravens of 
the royal aviary, that cry continually for food. It 


teaches them to imitate those saints on the pension 
list, that are like the lilies of the field — they toil 
not, neither do they spin, and yet are arrayed like 
Solomon in his glory. In fine, it teacheth a 
lesson, which* indeed, they might have learned 
from Epictetus — that it is sometimes good not to 
be over virtuous : it shews, that in proportion as 
our distresses increase, the munificence of the 
Crown increases also, and in proportion as our 
clothes are rent, the royal mantle is extended 
over us." 

About this period (1786), the southern parts of 
Ireland were much disturbed; outrages were com- 
mitted by large bodies of men, who sought to 
regulate the prices of labour, to fix the dues that 
were to be paid to the Catholic Clergy, to reform 
the system of tithes, and to resist the tithe farmers, 
and tithe proctors, who were severe and exorbi- 
tant in their mode of collecting them for the 
Protestant Clergy. Some of these parties were 
denominated Whiteboys, from the circumstance of 
their appearing at night with shirts over their 
clothes. They frequently assembled in the neigh- 
bourhood of chapels, where they administered 
oaths to their followers. The Reverend Doctor 
O'Leary, with a view to restrain these excesses, 
and to recal these men to a sense of their duty, 
addressed to them several excellent letters of ex- 
postulation and advice, especially to those in the 
county of Cork. This, however, was insufficient 




to redress the evil, and when Parliament met in 
1787, the subject was alluded to in the speech 
from the throne. Several members, however, 
denied that the disturbances were as great as was 
represented. Mr. Conolly, Mr. Longfield, and 
Mr. Curran, attributed them to the successive 
want and distress that prevailed among the lower 
orders, and to other local causes ; — and Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon gave the following melancholy account of 
their situation : —he stated, " that it was impos- 
sible for human wretchedness to exceed that of 
the miserable peasantry of the province of 
Munster ; — that he knew the unhappy peasantry 
were ground to powder by relentless landlords, and 
that, so far from being able to pay the clergy, they 
had neither food nor raiment for themselves." 
Notwithstanding this statement, he refused to 
institute any inquiry into the causes of the evil, 
and on the 13th of February, he brought in a bill 
to prevent tumultuous risings ; he refused to con- 
fine its operations to the counties of Cork, Kerry, 
Limerick, and Tipperary, where the disturbances 
existed ; he extended it to the entire of Ireland, 
and inserted in it one of the most outrageous pro- 
positions that ever was submitted to a civilized 
country. It was a clause of sacrilege, enjoining 
that Catholic places of worship should be pulled down 
and prostrated, in case any unlawful oath should be 
administered in or adjoining them. This measure 
showed at once a recklessness of character, and a 



total want of religious feeling, or respect for that 
of others. The ignorance too, as a minister and 
legislator, was here conspicuous ; for a measure of 
this description was certain not only to produce 
violence and mischief, but to be as impotent as it 
was irritating. After laying this bill, with such a 
horrid clause, upon the table, and finding objec- 
tions made to it, he gravely declared, " that if any 
gentleman took the pains to read it over, they 
would find that it contained nothing that could 
give the smallest just ground for apprehension." 
This proceeding appears so incredible, that it 
would scarcely be believed by any dispassionate 
individual ; the clause, therefore, as taken from the 
bill, is subjoined beneath.* 

* Be it enacted, that if any such unlawful oath shall be tendered, ad- 
ministered, or taken in or at or adjoining to any popish chapel or place 
of popish worship, and proof thereof be made on the oath of one credible 
witness before any two justices of the peace of the county, or before 
any two magistrates of a city or town corporate in which such chapel or 
place of worship shall be situated, it shall and may be lawful for such 
justices of the peace or magistrates, and they are hereby required to issue 
a warrant under their hands and seals to cause such chapel or place of 
worship to be pulled down, levelled and prostrated, and to cause the 
materials to be sold or otherwise disposed of, to defray such expences as 
shall have been incurred by pulling down, levelling and prostrating the 
same, or in paying the persons employed therein ; and that if within the 
space of three years from the time of pulling down any such chapel or 
place of worship as aforesaid any new chapel or place for popish wor- 
ship shall be erected or built, or be begun to be erected or built within 
the parish in which such chapel or place of worship shall have been 
pulled down as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful to and for any two 
justices of the peace or magistrates as aforesaid, from time to time, and 
they are hereby required from time to time within the said term of three 



Mr. Wolfe (afterwards Lord Kilwarden), who 
had stood by Mr. Fitzgibbon on the question of 
attachments, would not support him on this occa- 
sion. He displayed that disposition which, in the 
last moments of his life, influenced him;* justly 
thinking that the laws of his country were suffi- 
cient to punish state offenders. He exclaimed 
against such a measure, and said " he felt his 
indignation rise against it to such a degree, that 
he thought every man in the nation should raise 
his voice, and almost wield his sword to prevent 
its becoming law. It would kindle a flame in the 
kingdom which would be more difficult to extin- 
guish than Ministers were aware of." 

Mr. Grattan said, "that this bill, like the laws 
of Draco, had 'blood! blood! — felony! felony! 
felony!' in every period and in every sentence. 
I have heard of transgressors being dragged from 
the sanctuary, but I never heard of the sanctuary 
being demolished : it goes so far as to hold out 
the laws as a sanction to sacrilege. If the Roman 
Catholics are of a different religion, yet they have 
one common God, and one common Saviour, with 

years, as often as any such new chapel or place for popish worship shall 
be erected or built or begun to be erected or built, to issue a like warrant 
for pulling down, levelling and prostrating such new chapel or place for 
popish worship, and to cause the materials thereof to be sold or other- 
wise disposed of, and the same or the produce thereof to be applied as 

* When attacked in Dublin, in 1803, and mortally wounded, he ex- 
claimed, " Let no man suffer for my death but after trial and by the laws 
of his country." 




gentlemen themselves ; and surely the God of the 
Protestant temple is the God of the Catholic 
temple. What, then, does the clause enact ? — 
That the magistrate shall pull down the temple of 
his God, and if it be rebuilt, and as often as it is 
rebuilt, for three years, he shall again prostrate 
it, and so proceed in a repetition of his abomina- 
tions, and thus stab the criminal through the sides 
of his God — a new idea, indeed ! But this is not 
all : the magistrate is to sell by auction the altar 
of the Divinity to pay for the sacrilege that has 
been committed on his house." 

The clause was omitted, and the Riot Bill 
passed. But the proceeding left on the minds 
of all men an opinion very injurious to Mr. 

The question which next attracted the attention 
of the House was the Navigation Act, the 12th 
Charles II. cap. 18, on which the greatness of 
England and her maritime power was supposed 
to be founded ; by which no trade could be 
carried on with Asia, Africa, or America, but in 
ships belonging to England or Ireland, of which 
the master and three-fourths of the mariners were 
English. By this act Ireland enjoyed a right of 
trade equally with England; but by the 14th and 
J 5th Charles II. the word Ireland was omitted, 
and she was deprived of the benefit of the trade. 
Such was the commercial jealousy of Great Bri- 
tain, that she instantly took the alarm, arid by a 




variety of acts excluded Ireland from enjoying the 
benefit of the trade. By one law Ireland was 
prevented from sending goods to the plantations ; 
by another law the plantations were prevented 
from sending goods to Ireland ; and by a third 
law Ireland was prevented from sending planta- 
tion goods to England ; and by a clause in the 
Act of Customs, England got herself completely 
into the Irish market; so that in 1783 the tonnage 
stood thus: — English and Irish tonnage, 360,000; 
Irish tonnage, 71,000. Thus the Act of Naviga- 
tion, which was originally intended to operate in 
favour of Ireland, was turned into a restriction on 
all her commerce. 

In 1779,* the Channel trade had not been in- 
cluded in the settlement. The trade between 
Great Britain and Ireland stood as before, that is, 
on terms of inequality. Ireland took the manufac- 
tures from England, and the plantation goods she 
exported from England ; while England refused 
to take either from Ireland. Thus matters stood, 
when, on the 5th of March, Mr. Grattan enquired 
from the Attorney- general respecting the bill 
brought in for the improvement of Navigation, 
whether it merely went to the registry of ships, 
and stated that he would move an amendment, 
declaring "That the 12th of Chas. II., or 'the 
Navigation Act of England,' intended to impose 

* See Appendix No. 5, Act allowing the trade between Ireland and 
the British colonies, &c. 



the same restraints, and confer the same benefits 
on the Irish as on the English people ; and the 
said Act should bind the Irish only as long as it 
conferred the same benefits and imposed the same 

As this subject is somewhat connected with the 
propositions, on which such commercial jealousy 
was displayed towards Ireland, and such hostility 
evinced, we have given some extracts from Mr. 
Grattan's speech on the occasion, (March 20, 1787.) 

" It was a condition that required arrangement, but was 
not a condition (considering the great and recent acquisi- 
tions of this country) that should have called forth the 
very great turbulence and impatience which attended the 
inauspicious discussion of the unhappy question of protect- 
ing duties, to which the above condition had given birth. 
Protecting duties ! a question whether we should turn a 
vast number of articles of the English manufactures out of 
the Irish market: a question taken up so improperly, so 
furiously agitated, and so auspiciously deserted. The 
madness of the times frightened the English much, but 
frightened every rational man in Ireland more, and did at 
last damn the pretensions of those manufacturers who had 
just force enough to give birth to an arrangement, of which 
protecting duties not only did not form a part, but in 
which an express stipulation against them made a principal 
part. The equality of the re-export trade made another 
part. This was the system of reciprocity; but the manu- 
facturers of England trembled at it; they had got your 
market already; they, therefore, were not to gain anything 
by the experiment, and they were, therefore, left free to 
indulge in the latitude of their ancient fears and airy 

VOL. III. u 



speculations. They contemplated the low price of labour 
and of provisions in Ireland ; they mistook the symptoms 
of poverty for the seeds of wealth; in your raggedness 
they saw riches in disguise ; and in destitution itself they 
discovered a powerful rival to the capital, credit, and com- 
merce of Great Britain. 

" Whilst your pretensions were thus opposed by some of 
the English manufacturers, jealous of your poverty, they 
were also combated by another party, jealous of your 
liberty — the remnant of Lord North's ministry, who had 
supported the Minister in the fury of the American mea- 
sures, but had condemned his decline, and saw the moment 
when a great man loses his virtues, that is, when he loses 
his power, — that remnant, who had but one idea with re- 
spect to Great Britain, Ireland, and America — coercion! 
coercion ! From that quarter, the fourth proposition, if I 
am well informed, and some of the other propositions— the 
result of a narrow mind, a sordid circumspection, and a 
jealousy of the dominating genius of an individual, and of 
the liberties of a nation, originated. Thus was Mr. Pitt's 
system of reciprocity clogged with a system of coercion ; 
and thus fell the adjustment : and since that time, we 
have no question in the least connected with it, until a 
doubt has been entertained of the validity of the Act of 

" The Act of Navigation is an act of empire, not of 
commerce. Cromwell was no merchant ; his mind was 
compass, power, and empire. The Navigation Act is a 
restriction on commerce in the benefit of shipping, — a 
restriction on the sale of things imported and exported, 
confining the sale and purchase to vessels and ports of a 
certain description. The compensation Great Britain re- 
ceives is in the carrying trade, and a doubt has arisen 
whether the benefits she receives from that trade, compen- 




sate for the restraint she imposes on the sale of the 
commodity; but as to Ireland, there can be no doubt at 
all. The Act of Navigation is clearly a restriction without 
the compensation. 

" I know we must make some sacrifices in some in- 
stances to the general cause. I know taxes are not 
commercial benefits, any more than Acts of Navigation ; 
but they are necessary, and therefore I do not hesitate to 
conform to the British Act ; desiring only to warrant that 
conformity, that the conditions of the act may be effectually 
equal. As Irish conformity is necessary to the British Em- 
pire, so is Irish equality necessary to obtain that conformity ; 
— that is the true principle that connects; it is the breath 
that lifts, and it is the spirit that moves, and the soul that 
actuates; without it, all is eccentricity; with it, the two 
nations gravitate to one common centre; and fulfil their 
stated revolutions in the imperial orbit, by rules regular as 
the laws of motion ; like them, infallible ; and like them, 
everlasting ! Nor do you here demand an equality of which 
you are not a purchaser ; you purchased the right to equal 
admission, or equal exclusion under this act, by a long 
conformity to its restrictions. You have given to Great 
Britain for that equality, your carrying-trade, and your 
market; 100,000/. in plantation goods; 360,000Z. tonnage ; 
nor do you, in fact, desire equal advantages. You do not 
desire the British market, but you wish to have the specu- 
lation of the British market, for the chance of your own. 
It is not another man's estate you desire, but a small 
channel through your neighbour's land, that you may 
water your own without fear of inundation. The English 
need not tremble: their estates in the plantations articled 
to render the produce to Great Britain, will not break these 
articles. Cork will not be the emporium of the empire. 
Old England will remain at the head of things. We only 

u 2 

292 mr. fitzgibbon's attack, and [chap. IX. 

aspire that the little bark of this island may attendant sail, 
pursue the triumph, and perchance partake some vagrant 
breath of all those trade winds that waft the British empire 
along the tide of commerce." 

Mr. Fitzgibbon opposed Mr. Grattan's proposi- 
tion, and attacked the English opposition for their 
conduct on the fourth proposition : — 

" That they had with wonderful dexterity shifted their 
ground, turned advocates for Ireland, Irish patriots, and 
for the first time asserters of our Constitution ; indeed, the 
trick was at first thought too gross and palpable even by 
themselves, but they persisted in it on a presumption, as 
they said, that nothing was too gross for Irish stupidity." 

He could not deny the Navigation Act to be as 
beneficial to Ireland as to England ; and though 
Mr. Grattan's amendment was lost by 52 to 127, 
he adopted the principle, and introduced a clause 
declaring that the Navigation Act was in force in 
Ireland ; but it was done in a subdued tone, with- 
out an assertion of Irish rights, and careful not to 
give offence to any English authority. 

This was the first occasion in which a breach 
between Mr. Grattan and Mr. Fitzgibbon ap- 
peared — " malh sarta amicitia, nequicqnam coit." 
The latter, after his attack on the English oppo- 
sition, accused Mr. Grattan of speaking about 
what he did not understand. Mr. Grattan calmly 
replied : — 

" I had rather be the object of his severity than the 
retaliator of it. He has mis-stated what I said. Perhaps 
a very able advocate, which most undoubtedly he is, may 



think mis-stating a very fair figure of argument. I did 
not say that the Act of Navigation was the law of Ireland. 
I gave no opinion : I said some great lawyers doubted, but 
the people obeyed. I did not say that we had no benefit 
from the direct plantation trade, but I did say, that as yet 
we had not any great benefit from it, — no great direct ex- 
port or import. The right honourable member has spoken 
of the English opposition, much to their disadvantage ; he 
will allow, however, they had one merit — that of making the 
right honourable member Attorney-general. He is, how- 
ever, too high in situation, ability, and independence, to 
be the partisan of the party in Government, or any party ; 
but if he has censured the English opposition, he has cen- 
sured his own countrymen, at least as liberally. Sir, they 
were invited to discuss the subject by the minister ; they 
gave such an opinion as was approved of by many able and 
very honest men. We should treat that opinion at least, 
with good manners ; particularly the right honourable 
member should do so, because he has abilities and pre- 
tensions to enter the fair field of argument without any 
other assistance." 

At the opening of the session, on the 18th of 
January, 1787, after the usual annual paragraph 
in the speech from the throne, respecting the 
Protestant charter schools, a new and benevolent 
addition was made, highly creditable to the Lord- 
lieutenant, and very novel to the Parliament of 
Ireland. He stated his hope that some liberal and 
extensive plan for the general improvement of 
education would be matured and speedily carried 
into execution. In pursuance of this sentiment, 
which Mr. Grattan warmly recommended, Mr. 



Orde, on the 10th of April, brought forward his 
plan of education, — an object most desirable in a 
country treated as Ireland had been, where the 
laws had prevented the people from being edu- 
cated, and where it had been rendered penal for 
the Roman Catholic to teach or instruct his fellow- 
creature. Ignorance was the natural consequence 
■ — ignorance enjoined by statute! To the credit 
however of the Roman Catholic clergy, it must be 
said that they benevolently interfered, and sought 
to convey to their flocks the blessings of instruc- 
tion. Itinerant masters and hedge schools were 
privately encouraged : in the remote recesses of 
the woods, on some spot retired from public view, 
and at great personal risk, they gave by stealth 
to the people all the moral and religious instruc- 
tion that lay in their power. The law of the 28th 
of Henry VIII. directing the minister of the Pro- 
testant parish to keep school and teach English, 
which by oath he was bound to do, and which 
the Bishop was to administer, had been wholly 
neglected. The conscience of the parson was 
supposed to be cleared if he gave forty shillings 
a-year to any neighbouring schoolmaster to per- 
form the duties which he was sworn to execute. 
Mr. Orde proposed to take this sum of 21. as the 
lowest contribution from livings under 150/. a-year; 
from thence to 200/. a-year, 3/. ; and sixpence in 
the pound after ; the same in cases of impropriate 
tithes. This sum was to support a school in each 



parish, and any deficiency was to be raised by a 
vestry assessment on the rich proprietors. He 
proposed to establish four great schools, one in 
each province ; to revise and put on a better foot- 
ing the twenty-two diocesan schools ; to form two 
great academies, preparatory to the college of the 
metropolis ; and lastly, to establish another uni- 
versity,* not situated in Dublin, but in the north- 
west part of the kingdom. He proposed that 
navigation, mercantile knowledge, modern lan- 
guages, mechanics, mathematics, geometry, hus- 
bandry, drawing, as well as writing, accounts, 
reading, and grammar, should be taught at these 
schools. He proposed that exhibitions should be 
annexed to the academies, and that intelligent 
persons, distinguished for learning, should be ap- 
pointed visitors. He submitted to the House a 
number of resolutions, calling upon them to carry 
his plan into effect in the course of the next 

Some individuals objected to the measure as 
not being favourable to the Protestant religion ; 

* By the Act of Settlement (Charles II.) the Crown possessed the 
power of erecting another college in Ireland. None was however 
established, nor was it till 1795 that a Roman Catholic college was en- 
dowed, nor until after 1830 that a Board of Education was formed in 
Dublin, and that national schools were spread over the country, in which 
Protestant and Catholic could be educated without attempts at con- 
version, and on terms of kindness and love. In forwarding this latter 
measure, Ireland is much indebted to the late able and talented under- 
secretary, J. Drummond, whose useful services in this and other public 
affairs should not be forgotten. 

29G MR. orde's plan for education, [chap. IX. 

others complained that it was not sufficiently 
favourable to the Catholics, whose clergy were 
forced to travel into foreign countries to obtain 
instruction. Mr. Orde, however, stated that the 
benefit of education was equally imparted to all, 
without distinction of religion; but that those who 
were to be maintained at the public expense were 
those who were of the Protestant religion. 

Resolutions founded on this plan passed the 
House ; but it is much to be regretted nothing 
further was done in a measure so useful to the 
people, and so creditable to the Minister and the 
Government, and which, in some degree, would 
have effaced the stigma that lay on the barbarous 
legislation that disgraced the statute-book. 



History of tithes — Extraordinary demands by the Protestant clergy — 
Proceedings of parliament in reference thereto, from 1641 to 1735 — 
Tithe of agistment — Mr. Fitzgibbon's description of the state of the 
Irish peasantry — Mr. Grattan's proposition respecting tithe — Opposed 
by Mr. Orde — Death of the Duke of Rutland — Marquis of Bucking- 
ham succeeds him as Lord-Lieutenant — Mr. Forbes' and Mr. Grattan's 
letters — Mr. Grattan renews the tithe question in February, 1788 — 
His motion, and speech thereon, 14th February, 1788 — Effect pro- 
duced by that speech — His motion lost. 

The subject which now occupied the attention of 
Parliament, had been a matter of complaint for 
several years. The origin of the grievance bore a 
very ancient date ; it commenced at the period of 
the Reformation, the doctrines of which were not 
espoused in Ireland as they were in England. 
Force was the mode adopted, to propagate its 
precepts, and the abuse of power rendered odious 
even the name of Protestantism. 

At the very onset of the Reformation, one most 
essential point had been overlooked, — namely, 
the medium through which the new religion should 
be conveyed. There existed in Ireland no com- 
mon language ; the liturgy was in English ; the 
language of the people was Irish.* To remedy 

• In the time of James the First, the Bible and Prayer-book were 



[CHAP. X. 

this inconvenience, a clause was introduced in 
the act establishing the reformed creed, which al- 
lowed the service to be performed in Latin. But 
the Irish did not comprehend Latin much better 
than they did English. Thus a failure from the 
beginning was inevitable ; and the neglect, the 
apathy and inefficiency of the clergy, who were 
sent from England, and who were an inferior class 
of men, rendered that failure complete ; and con- 
fusion, hatred, strife, and sanguinary tumult were 
the result. 

The religion of the people remained Catholic ; 
that of the state became Protestant. The Refor- 
mation took no root in the land. The tithes were 
taken from the Catholic Clergy, and transferred 
to the Protestant. Thus injury was added to in- 
justice; — the people were first robbed of their 
land ; then of their liberties ; then proscribed on 
account of their religion, and forced to pay the 
minister of an adverse creed. So that in fact, the 
English Government was the establishment of 
continual hostility. Tithes being an annual ex- 
tortion, were most severely felt, and became a 
standing and a popular grievance, the cause of 
violent outbreaks and excesses,* disgraceful to a 
civilized state, and detrimental, in particular, to the 
cause of religion. 

ordered to be translated into Irish, on which one of the bishops observed, 
" In Elizabeth's time we had Irish ministers and English Bibles, but 
now we have English ministers and Irish Bibles." 
* See Arthur Young's Tour in Ireland. 

CHAP. X.] 



The exorbitant demands made by the agents 
of the clergy, who were denominated tithe proc- 
tors, increased tenfold the original evil. They 
were generally a needy and low race of men, who 
had but little regard for the interest of their em- 
ployer, or the wants of the people ; and they per- 
formed their invidious task certainly, at consider- 
able hazard, and without much feeling. They 
required a high per-centage ; their charges were 
excessive, and the mode of collection insolent, 
haughty, and exasperating. 

Many laws had been passed to facilitate the 
Protestant in collecting his tithes, but no law had 
yet passed to relieve the peasant, who paid the 
pastors of two religions. This subject had not 
been introduced in Parliament. Thunderstruck 
by British tyranny, overawed by British power, 
and dreading British violence, men were timid 
and silent. 

At length Mr. Grattan brought the question 

It is worth while here to detail the history of 
tithes, as we find it transmitted to us in official 
documents. So far back as June 1640, the House 
of Commons presented a remonstrance to the 
Lord Deputy, " representing that divers com- 
plaints were made from several parts of the king- 
dom, of many grievous exactions, pressures, 
and other vexatious proceedings of the clergy, 
their officers and ministers against the laity, es- 



[CHAP. X. 

pecially the poorer sort, to the great impoverishing 
and general detriment of the whole kingdom/' 

The House of Commons having taken this into 
serious consideration, it was carried by their unani- 
mous vote, " that all of them were very great and 
enormous grievances ; some were exorbitant and 
barbarous, and ought to be quite abolished as repug- 
nant to law and reason, and the rest should be 
reformed and regulated." A schedule was an- 
nexed to this remonstrance, which is a matter of 

No redress appears to have been granted, and 
at the end of the year another remonstrance was 
voted by the House of Commons to the Lord 

* Charges made by the Protestant clergy : — 

" A barrel of corn for every plough in some places ; two quarts of wheat 
for every acre ploughed in others ; one sheaf of all sort of corn for every 
horse in the plough ; thirty-two quarts of oats, and one quart of wheat 
for every garron in the plough at Lent time ; in Connaught, sixpence 
a-year for every couple by the name of holy water mark. Married 
couples, that live long together, are brought to the court to prove their 
marriages, and when they prove it, pay seven shillings for a dismiss. 
In Connaught, a dish of butter once a-year. From a poor man that has 
but one cow they take a " muttue " for a mortuary ; from one better able 
his best garment ; if a woman her best garment. A gallon of drink from 
every brewery by the name of " merry gallons." If a beggar die in a 
man's house, the man who relieves him is to pay three shillings and six- 
pence. If a dead body be carried through a parish, such duty is to be 
paid to the parish it passes through as if buried there. For christenings 
and burials, the parsons, vicars, and curates, take three shillings, and in 
some cases more." 

These, with many more, the House voted should be abolished. Among 
the grievances to be reformed, were the following :— "By an Act of Par- 
liament in Ireland, bishops should administer an oath to every minister 


CHAP. X.] 



Deputy, containing sixteen charges, the tenth of 
which recited that exorbitant and barbarous fees 
and pretended customs were exacted by the 
clergy, against law. These grievances, however, 
appear not to have been redressed, and a com- 
mittee of the House of Commons was appointed in 
the next year (20th July, 1641), to draw up an 
order concerning tithes and duties demanded by 
the clergy of the kingdom, and to present it to the 

The next proceeding was an order of the House 
on a petition from the diocese of Connor, com- 
plaining — 

" That many disorderly persons, taking occasion upon 
some proceedings in this House against certain barbarous 
customs used in some parts of this realm by several of the 
clergy there, do take upon them a boldness to refuse the 
payment of tithes and other duties heretofore received by 
their incumbents in their several parishes, the which were 
not meant by this House to be forbidden to be paid ; and 
do declare their minds to be such that they will pay no 
tithes or duties until the Parliament shall settle what ought 
to be paid ; the House taking the same into their serious 
consideration, hath thought fit to declare that by such mis- 
reports and evil practice the honour of this House is much 
scandalized, and that whatsoever person shall, after publi- 

to keep a school within the parish, and teach the children the English 
tongue. This is not observed, and no school kept. By another Act, in 
Ireland, free schools should be kept in every diocese. This is not ob- 
served, to the great prejudice of the kingdom of Ireland." 

These, together with many exactions in fees by the bishops in their 
courts, and also duties charged on burials in the parish churches, were 
all voted to be reduced. 



cation of this order in the parish church wherein he dwells, 
detain any tithes, demands, or duties which heretofore 
they have engaged, and have not by any vote of this 
House been judged or declared a grievance, as mortuaries 
and all other things voted in this House for grievances, that 
such persons be taken for contemners of the commands of 
this House, and to be forthwith sent for by the Serjeant-at- 
Arms to answer the said contempt, whereof we desire all 
whom it may concern to take notice upon their perils ; and 
this order is to stand in force until this House shall give 
further directions to the contrary ; and that a copy of the 
exactions of the clergy, formerly voted in this House for 
grievances, shall be annexed to a copy of this order to be 
sent into the several parts of the country." 

This was a most extraordinary resolution un- 
doubtedly, and one the House would have found it 
difficult to enforce. 

Matters appear to have remained thus for the 
space of twenty years. At the end of that time, 
in 1662, application was again made to the House 
of Commons on the subject of tithe payments, and 
a committee was appointed to report thereon ; and 
in the ensuing year three members from each 
province of Ireland were appointed as a committee, 
and it was ordered that the settlement of the whole 
matter relative to tithe payments should be re- 
ferred to them. 

The Parliament having voted the Customs and 
Excise for ever, were no longer necessary for the 
Crown, and they were thirty-four times prorogued. 
They met at the end of the year 1665, and then 




an Act concerning tithes, oblations, and mortua- 
ries was brought in, and passed into a law in 
June, 1666. It recited as follows : — 

"Whereas, divers and unreasonable forms of tythings 
and oblations are in practice in many parts of the kingdom, 
whereby the subject is much oppressed, and others as pre- 
judicial to the church, whereby many suits and contro- 
versies do arise to the grievance of his Majesty's subjects; 
be it enacted, that the Lord Lieutenant or other chief 
governor and the Council, with the consent of both Houses, 
should abolish and take away the aforementioned forms of 
tythings, and settle such a table of tithes, &c. &c. as with 
the consent of both Houses should be judged convenient 
and reasonable for the clergy and parishioners." 

In the year IG95, the 7th year of William III., 
a complaint was addressed to the House from the 
inhabitants of Ulster, stating that the table of 
tithes for that province, differed from the rates 
paid in other parts of the kingdom : that the 
clergy of Ulster received ninepence for every 
milch-cow and calf, whereas three-halfpence only 
was due and payable ; — and stating that the table 
of tithes, was illegal and unreasonable. 

Notwithstanding these various efforts to pro- 
cure relief, the complaints against tithes seem still 
to have continued ; and at length in the 8th of 
George II, 1735, a petition was presented to the 
House, complaining that the clergy had com- 
menced suits for a new kind of tithe, under the 
name of agistment, or herbage of dry and barren 


cattle ; a claim never heard of or made until with- 
in these few years. 

The committee of the House reported, that the 
demand was newly set up by the clergy (within 
a period of twelve years), and that notwithstanding 
the act of the 17th and 18th of Charles XL, to 
regulate the tithing table, and to adjust any 
claims, no such demand was ever made. They 
stated that upwards of fifty suits were commenced 
in the Court of Exchequer, for the counties of 
King's, Queen's, Meath, and Westmeath. They 
further reported that a number of Protestant inha- 
bitants in these counties had determined to with- 
draw to America, in case these new demands of the 
clergy were established. The House resolved 
that the petitioners had proved their case, and 
proceeded to adopt the four following resolutions : 

"That the allotments, glebes and known tithes, with 
other ecclesiastical emoluments, ascertained before this new 
demand of tithe of agistment for dry and barren cattle, are 
an honourable and plentiful provision for the clergy of this 

" That the demand of tithe agistment for dry and barren 
cattle, is new, grievous?, and burthensome to the landlords 
and tenants of this kingdom, who could have no notice 
thereof previous to their purchases and leases, nor the least 
apprehensions that such unforeseen demands could have 
been claimed." 

"That the commencing suits upon these new demands, 
must impair the Protestant interest, by driving many useful 
hands out of this kingdom ; must disable those that re- 



main to support his Majesty's establishment, and occa- 
sion popery and infidelity to gain ground, by the con- 
test that must necessarily arise between the laity and 

" That all legal ways and means ought to be made use 
of, to oppose all attempts that shall hereafter be framed to 
carry demands of tithe agistment into execution, until a 
proper remedy can be provided by the legislature." 

It is to be observed that these complaints 
against the tithe system, did not proceed from 
Roman Catholics, but from members of the Es- 
tablished Church ; and so inimical were they to the 
impositions laid upon them by the clergy, that in 
great numbers they determined to go to America. 
Hence the resolutions on the subject of agistment. 
One of them certainly partakes of bigotry and hos- 
tility to the Catholics, but it was not adopted till 
after a debate and a division of 50 to 110. 

Thus were the clergy excluded from this species 
of tithe, only, however, by a resolution of the 
House of Commons; and it was not until the 
year 1800, that the Irish Parliament, in one of its 
last acts, confirmed this by statute. 

Mr. Grattan at once saw that the property of 
the clergy was insecure, and that the dissatis- 
faction which had so long prevailed throughout 
the country, was certain to be increased, by being 
extended to the Catholics, who had now acquired 
land, property, and power. He heard Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon (the Attorney-general) say that the people 
were ground to powder ; he read in the journals 




mr. grattan's proposition. [chap. X. 

of the House of Commons, the continued com- 
plaints against the clergy ; he saw neither security 
for the one, nor peace or tranquillity for the other; 
and accordingly, on the 13th of March, 1787, he 
noved the following resolution : — 

" That if it shall appear at the commencement of the next 
session of Parliament, that public tranquillity has been re- 
stored in those parts of the kingdom that have been lately 
disturbed, and due obedience paid to the laws, this House 
will take into consideration the subject of tithes ; and en- 
deavour to form some plan for the honourable support of 
the clergy, and the ease of the people." 

The following are some of the passages from his 
speech on the occasion : — 

" Certainly the annual contract is below the dignity of a 
clergyman. The minds of the clergy are in general too 
honourable for such an employment; accordingly, advan- 
tage is taken by the illiberal : he is to make a bargain 
with the squire, the farmer, and the peasant, on a subject 
which they do, and he does not understand ; the more his 
humanity and erudition, the less his income. It is a 
situation where the parson's property falls with his virtues 
and rises with his bad qualities. Just so, the parishioner: 
he loses by being ingenuous, and he saves by dishonesty. 
The pastor of the people is made a spy on the husband- 
man ; he is reduced to become the annual teazing con- 
tractor and litigant with a flock among whom he is to 
extend religion by his personal popularity. An agent 
becomes necessary for him; it relieves him in this situation, 
and this agent or proctor involves him in new odium and 
new disputes ; the squire not seldom defrauds him, and he 
is obliged to submit, in repose and protection, and to 
reprise on the cottar; so that it often happens that the 




clergyman shall not receive the thirtieth, and the peasant 
shall pay more than the tenth : the natural result, this, of 
a system which makes the parson dependent on the rich 
for his repose, and on the poor for his subsistence. Lenity 
to the rich, and severity to the poor: his preaching must 
be peace, while his practice must be strife, and this not 
from any fault in him, but in the law. * * * 

" I submit to this House the situation of the clergy as 
well as of the people, and call on you to take up at large 
the subject of the tithe. You have two grounds for such 
an investigation, — the distress of the clergy, and the dis- 
tress of the people. * * * 

"Against your interference three arguments are objected, 
two of which are fictitious, and one only is sincere. The 
sincere, but erroneous objection is, that we ought not to 
affect in any degree the rights of the church ; to which I 
answer briefly, that if by the rights of the church, the 
customary tithes only are intended, we ought to interfere 
to give and secure the full profit of them ; and if by the 
rights of the church are meant those dormant claims I 
alluded to, we ought to interfere to prevent their operation. 
Of the two arguments, that one on petition relies on the 
impossibility of making any commutation ; but this argu- 
ment rather fears the change than the difficulty. This 
argument is surely erroneous, in supposing that the whole 
wit of man in Parliament assembled cannot, with all its 
ingenuity, find a method of providing for nine hundred 
persons. We, who provide for so large a civil list, military 
list, pension list, revenue list, cannot provide for the church. 
What ! is the discovery of the present income of the 
church an impenetrable mystery? 

" I have heard, indeed, very plausible professions of regard 
to the church ; but while they remain mere words, unac- 
companied by deeds, I shall pay little regard to them. I 

x 2 



am determined to prove my affection to the church by my 
actions, — by securing her ministers in an honourable 
affluent independence, and by removing every cause of dis- 
pute that could endanger their persons or properties." 

Mr. Orde's speech was remarkable. He op- 
posed the motion, and added, " that the distress 
of the people in the south arose from other causes 
than tithes, namely, excessive rents, and insufficient 
wages ; and nothing he had heard would induce him 
to give an opinion that the subject ought to be dis- 
cussed ; he would even say ' No, 9 with respect to 
futurity ; and if any petitions were offered during 
the present disturbances, they should not be lis- 
tened to." 

Such were the benevolent feelings of the Minis- 
ter, and such has generally been the case with 
respect to Ireland ! If the country was distressed 
and disturbed, the reply was, that nothing was to 
be done while it remained so ; and if the country 
was quiet, nothing was necessary to be done : 
and the result of not doing anything at the proper 
time was, that much more was granted than had 
been asked ; so that the people returned no 
thanks, and the country received no satisfaction. 

The speech of Mr. Fitzgibbon, Attorney-gene- 
ral, is worthy of notice. He said — " The lower 
orders of the people in Munster, are in a state of 
depression and abject poverty, sloth, dirt, and 
misery ; not to be equalled in any other part of 
the world. But this cannot be ascribed to the 
clergy— far from it ;-— it is owing in the first place 


to their own indolence , and in the next, to a class 
of men called middlemen ; a set of gentry, who, 
having no inheritance, no education, or other 
means of life, than by getting between the in- 
heritor and the cultivator of the soil, grind the poor 
people to powder. Every man knows that tithes 
are a very critical subject to bring forward ; if my 
right honourable friend will, however, bring them 
forward, I shall give them my best consideration ; 
but, indeed, with little hope of success ; and if, 
after trial, we find we cannot succeed, we may 
expect to have the people doubly riotous for their 

The House, however, was unwilling to nega- 
tive Mr. Grattan's propositions, and accordingly 
proceeded to the order of the day. Thus ended 
the question of tithes for the year 1787. 

On the 20th of March, the Attorney-general 
presented to the House, a bill for the better ex- 
ecution of the laws. It was a bill of considerable 
patronage; — it cancelled the entire magistracy of 
the kingdom, created 3,000 sub-constables, 520 
chief constables, at an expense of upwards of 
50,000/. a-year. It affected also the indepen- 
dence of the bar, by selecting thirty-two barristers, 
one to assist the justice of the sessions in each 
county, at a salary of 300/. a-year. 

This bill was strongly opposed by the country 
gentlemen, particularly by Mr. Conolly.* On this 
occasion, Mr. Fitzgibbon made one of those dis- 

* Debate of 5th April. 

310 mr. fitzgibbon's attack, and [chap. X. 

plays so ill suited to the dignity and decorum of 
a legislative assembly. He attacked the indi- 
viduals who opposed the bill, particularly Mr. 
John O'Neill;* saying — " that when gentlemen 
so loudly declaimed against the bill, they should 
support their assertions with something like reason 
and argument. When those loud advocates for 
liberty called a constable — a soldier in disguise — 
they shewed they knew nothing of the Constitu- 
tion, only talked nonsense. He defied them to 
come forward and argue the point. He set their 
whole stock of sagacity at defiance ; if they would 
not accept the challenge, he expected for the future, 
they would be silent on a subject they now con- 
fessed they did not understand." 
Mr. O'Neill replied :— 

" He should not rise at the present time, if he did not 
deem himself personally called on. He asserted that the 
bill was calculated to create such a force as would be suffi- 
cient to overawe the spirits of the people ; he now repeated 
it. The polite and learned speech which the right honour- 
able gentleman has addressed to this side of the House, 
he was forced to take entirely to himself. He was free to 
confess his admiration of the ingenious and elaborate 
lecture, which the gentleman has been at the trouble of 
giving the House, relative to the appointment of constables, 
magistrates, sheriffs, &c. He acknowledged he had not 
heard a more edifying lecture since he left the University. 
The right honourable gentleman says he was disappointed 
by gentlemen being obliged to blink the question in silence. 

* Right Hon, John O'Neill, member for the County Antrim. 

CHAP. X.] 



He begged to be permitted to inform him, that if gentle- 
men on this side of the House were silent, it did not pro- 
ceed from a want of capability to speak, or from a deficiency 
of information on the subject. But as the right honour- 
able gentleman has thought necessary to remind me of an 
Act of Parliament in which I was concerned, I hope to be 
allowed the same liberty with him. I will remind him of 
several Acts of Parliament of his own framing, and then 
perhaps the agitating of those matters will not redound 
much to his advantage. 

" 1 remember his bringing forward a bill for securing the 
liberty of the press — a bill which deprived the subject of 
his birth-right — a trial by jury, and vested in the magis- 
trate the executive and judicial powers! making him at 
once the judge who was to preside — the jury to deliberate, 
and the executioner who was to punish. Perhaps this bill 
deserves reprobation as much as that which he has selected 
to arraign. 

" I remember his pursuing a measure which was not so 
very constitutional, w hich met with the loud and universal 
condemnation of all ranks of men ; of lawyers as respect- 
able as the right honourable gentleman himself ; which 
also deprived the subject of his birth-right, trial by jury — 
I mean his prosecution by attachment. 

" I remember his bringing in a Police-bill, highly excep- 
tionable, and the subject of universal censure. 

" I remember his bringing in a measure, which would 
prove any man either ignorant, or regardless of the Con- 
stitution — which must have driven two-thirds of the people 
to despair, madness, and rebellion; I mean his bill to pre- 
vent tumultuous risings, as it at first stood, enjoining the 
prostration of the houses of religious worship. 

" These are the acts of a Constitutional lawyer, and some 
of them the disgrace of your statute book. 


"The right honourable gentleman has used very extraor- 
dinary, and in my opinion unparliamentary language, when 
he in his dictatorial tone talks of * ignorance of the Con- 
stitution — and I hope I shall hear no more of it,' I beg 
leave to tell that right honourable gentleman that he shall 
hear more of it ; and I hope language of this sort will rouse 
country gentlemen to an exertion of their abilities, and to 
deliver their opinions upon every great occasion, in their 
own bold and plain manner, regardless of polished periods 
and regular elocution. " 

This very proper reprimand came with much 
weight from such a character as Mr. O'Neill, a 
high-spirited and independent member, and de- 
scended from the oldest and most respected of 
Irish families. It, however, failed to produce its 
desired effect on the mind of Mr. Fitzgibbon. 

The bill, which gave such an increase of power 
and patronage to the Government, was passed, 
and laid the foundation for another measure of a 
similar nature, which was enacted a few years 
afterwards, and which very much impaired the 
independence of the Irish bar. 

On the 24th of October, 1787, the Duke of 
Rutland died, at the early age of thirty-three, in 
consequence of a fever supposed to have been 
contracted by his convivial habits. He was suc- 
ceeded by the Marquess of Buckingham, who had 
been in Ireland as Viceroy in 1783, on the disso- 
lution of the Rockingham administration, and he 
now reassumed the reins of Government on the 
16th of December, 1787. 


The Marquess of Buckingham's administration 
was more remarkable than that of his predecessor, 
and was accompanied by circumstances that 
tended to produce the same result. The former 
was distinguished by the injudicious question of 
the Propositions, — the latter by the injurious 
question of the Regency. 

The Marquess of Buckingham was married to a 
Roman Catholic, an Irish lady, much respected 
and beloved, daughter of Lord Nugent, Earl of 
Clare, of Carlanstown, near Castlepollard, in the 
county of Westmeath. This individual sat in the 
English Parliament for the borough of St. Mawes, 
in 1748. He was a man of considerable taste, 
fond of literature, possessed a good understanding 
and high integrity. His attachment to Ireland 
appears from the exertions he made in the English 
House, in favour of the trade and commerce of his 
country, in 1778. On his death in 1788,* his 
Irish estates, which were considerable, descended 
to his only child. 

Though Mr. Grattan differed so much from the 
Marquess of Buckingham in politics, he was in 
habits of great intimacy with him and his lady ; 
and when he became a member of the Imperial 
Parliament, was a regular visitor at their house in 

* Lord Nugent was accused of being a Roman Catholic, and some 
one told him that he would die with the wafer in his mouth. He wit- 
tily replied, " Depend on it, that is the very last thing that Til do" It 
was said that he kept his word. 


London, and passed many agreeable hours in their 

As the Marchioness was of the religion of the 
great body of the people of Ireland, it was sup- 
posed that this circumstance would have added 
to the friendly reception they might have ex- 
pected ; and such might have been the case had 
her husband acted a different part in politics. 

Mr. Grattan's mind was still fixed upon the 
subject of tithes. He sought, from all quarters, 
every information he could collect, as appears 
from a letter of Mr. Forbes and one to Mr. Day, 
whom he consulted on this subject. 


London, Nov. 26th, 1787. 

Dear Grattan, 
Inclosed I send you some information respecting the mode 
of providing for the parochial clergy in France and Scot- 
land : that which relates to France, I received from an 
intelligent ecclesiastic at Rouen ; that which regards Scot- 
land, from the celebrated Dr. Price. If Price's paper is 
not sufficient, specify your demands on the subject, and I 
shall endeavour to comply with them. 

We do not expect a debate of any importance, in either 
House, on the address. The Marquess of Buckingham 
leaves this kingdom with the consent of all parties, as 
there are few men of his rank less liked. Mr. Pitt, on 
whom he had strong claims, on account of the back stairs 
business in 1783, # is peculiarly happy at this event, as he 

* See ante, page 180 ; when he conveyed to the peers the king's most 
unconstitutional message, to influence their votes on the question of 
Fox's East India Bill. 

CHAP. X.] 



was apprehensive that the Marquess would have forced him- 
self into the Cabinet, in the character of First Lord of the 
Admiralty. Fitzherbert* is a man much esteemed in private 
life, as well as by the corps diplomatique; but he is con- 
sidered as ill qualified, either from constitution or habit, 
for the Minister of Ireland. He has the family disease, 
low spirits, and a complaint on his liver, for which he is 
now taking mercurial medicines. He is totally ignorant of 
the business of Parliament, and the internal concerns of 
these kingdoms. 

Lord Buckingham's apparent popularity on his separa- 
tion from Ireland, and the nerves and good-breeding of 
Fitzherbert, I presume, will render it inexpedient that we 
should make any move the first day of the session, unless 
there is something strong in the address, and pledging. 
Let me hear your sentiments on this, and direct to me 
under cover to Mr. Palin, No. 34, Southampton Street, 
Covent Garden. I beg to be particularly remembered to 
Mrs. Grattan and Broome. Yours very sincerely, 

John Forbes. 


Tinnehinch, December, 1787. 

My Dear Day, 
Perhaps you could spare time, the weather permitting, to 
pay us a visit, — maybe on Saturday or Sunday. Mrs. 
Grattan had, about five weeks ago, a return of her com- 
plaint^ but slighter, and not very alarming. She has 
been free this month, and is well. We should be all glad 
to see you. If the weather and time of year would not 
deter Mrs. Day, she need not be afraid of a damp house, 
and we should be happy to see her. 

* Afterwards Lord St. Helens. 

t A bilous and rheumatic affection to which she was much subject. 



When you write to your brother, give my best respects 
to him. He got a heavy cold when we were at Killarney, 
on our account. I wrote a letter to him from Tarbert; but 
neither his nor the other letters I wrote from thence were 
put in the office ; the waiter at the inn neglected them. 

The country is pleasant even now, and the Dargle in 
beauty. Yours, H. Grattan. 

On the 14th of February, 1788, Mr. Grattan 
brought forward the subject of tithes. He had 
taken much pains to make himself master of the 
question. He produced proctors' bills for a series 
of years; and returns of tithe averages made by 
officers appointed by the Court of Chancery, to 
try petitions under the Tithe Compensation Act. 
He produced upwards of sixty cases of tithes from 
vicars' courts for several years past, showing the 
amount demanded, and the increase, and had wit- 
nesses ready to prove the cases upon oath. He 
stated that tithe for potatoes existed only in the 
south ; that in England and Ireland the law was 
different; that in England all newly reclaimed 
ground was free from payment of tithes for several 
years; that the law in England did not require 
forty-eight hours' notice to the parson to draw his 
tithe ; and that if left too long on the ground, the 
former had a right to an action against the parson, 
but it was not so in Ireland. He therefore called 
on Parliament to assimilate the law of both coun- 
tries in this respect. He stated that the plan he 
would submit for consideration, embraced three 



principal points ; jirst, to pay the clergy the full 
amount of what, on a fair average, they have re- 
ceived for several years prior to the disturbances 
complained of, which amount should be raised by 
applotmentin the manner of other county charges: 
second, to institute a general modus in lieu of tithe : 
third, to make a commutation by a general survey 
of every county, a certain sum to be allowed for 
every acre under tillage, and the whole county at 
large to be the security of the clergyman. 

Such were Mr. Grattan's ideas, and well would 
it have been for the clergy and the country, if they 
had been adopted ; then both the property of the 
one and the peace of the other would have been 
preserved, and bitter enmity and bloodshed would 
have been avoided. 

With a view to introduce his plan, Mr. Grattan 
moved : — 

u That a committee be appointed to inquire whether any 
just cause of discontent exists among the people of the 
province of Munster, or of the counties of Kilkenny or Car- 
low, on account of tithe or the collection of tithes; and if 
any, to report the same, together with their opinion there- 

The description of the state of the Irish pea- 
santry is so well given that the following speeches 
have been given at greater length than would 
otherwise have been warranted. The reader will 
be enabled by them to see the condition to which 
the people and the country were reduced by laws 

318 MR. grattan's exposition of [chap. X. 

so unjust and so oppressive ; and yet such a system 
was allowed to continue for near fifty years, till 
the mischief and bloodshed occasioned by it forced 
the legislature to interfere, in 1837, when a stop 
was put to this disgrace to Christianity. Mr. 
Grattan said, — 

" I believe there is no man that hears these charges, that 
will not pronounce some of them exorbitant, unconscion- 
able, and totally different from those which the advocates 
for tithes have ventured publicly to acknowledge or defend. 
I believe no man who hears these ratages, that will not say 
that some of them preclude the idea of any equity in favour 
of the tiller of the soil, and that the person who makes 
such a demand means to exact the last penny of his claim, 
and if he talks of moderation is a hypocrite. 

"As to potatoes, the clergyman ought not to proceed 
with reference to the produce, but the price of labour : in 
the parts of which I have been speaking the price of labour 
is not more than bd. a-day the year round, that is, 61. 4s. 
the year, supposing the labourer to work every day but 
Sunday, making an allowance for sickness, broken weather, 
and holidays, you should strike off more than a sixth ; he 
has not in fact then more than 51. a-year by his labour; 
his family averages about five persons, nearer six, of whom 
the wife may make something by spinning (in these parts 
of the country there are considerable manufactories.) Five 
pounds a-year, with the wife's small earnings, is the capi- 
tal to support such a family, and pay rent and hearth 
money, and in some cases of illegal exaction 'smoke money'* 
to the parson. When a gentleman of the church of Ire- 
land comes to a peasant so circumstanced, and demands 
12s. or 16s. an acre for tithe of potatoes ; he demands a 
* A sum for the fire-place of each cabin. 



child's provision; he exacts contribution from a pauper; 
he gleans from wretchedness; he leases from penury ; he 
fattens on hunger, raggedness, and destitution. In vain 
shall he state to such a man the proctor's valuation, and 
inform him that an acre of potatoes well tilled and in good 
ground should produce so many barrels ; that each barrel, at 
the market price, is worth so many shillings, which after 
allowing for digging, tithes at so much. 

" The peasant may answer this reasoning by the Bible ; 
he may set up, against the tithe proctor's valuation, the 
New Testament ; the precepts of Christ against the Cler- 
gyman's arithmetic ; the parson's spiritual professions 
against his temporal exactions; and in the argument the 
peasant would have the advantage of the parson. It is an 
odious contest between poverty and luxury — between the 
struggles of a pauper, and the luxury of a priest. 

" Such a man making such a demand may have many 
good qualities ; may be a good theologian ; an excellent 
controversialist; deeply read in church history; very ac- 
curate in the value of church benefices ; an excellent high 
priest — but no Christian pastor. He is not the idea of 
a Christian minister. The White Boy is the least of his 
foes — his great enemy is the precept of the gospel, and the 
example of the Apostles. 

"The next case I shall observe on is a demand brought 
for two thousand three hundred and fifty barrels of pota- 
toes, one hundred and twenty-eight barrels of bere, and 
one hundred and forty-eight barrels of oats. On what 
evidence ? Who was the laborious, indefatigable man who 
went through the long process of measuring and weighing 
this ponderous and bulky produce ? This is the case of 
Mrs. Strong ; and the result of this charge is a decree for 
33Z. 14s. and 1Z. 6s. 8d. cost; there is no necessity for 
knowledge of fact to support such a demand ; the evidence 
does it by his power of guessing, which, it seems, before such 



a tribunal is satisfactory. You think this measure by the 
barrel a criminal ingenuity ; but they carry it much further ; 
they swear to the stone. I have read to you a suit brought 
for six thousand and forty-eight stone of potatoes; but 
there is a case which sums up all the principles which I 
have stated and objected to : it is the case of Ryan against 
Greene. In this four acres and a quarter of potatoes are 
alleged to have contained four thousand two hundred and 
sixty-six stone, and are tithed at 51. 6s. 3d., which is above 
one guinea an acre for potatoes. Two acres and a half of flax 
are alleged to contain one hundred and sixty stone, and 
are charged above 3/. 4s. — above a guinea an acre for flax ; 
four acres and a quarter of oats, alleged to contain four 
hundred and thirty-two stone, are charged II. Is. 6d. — 
about 55. the acre ; ten acres of meadow, alleged to contain 
thirty tons, are charged at 61. 6s. 6d., that is, above 12s. the 
acre meadow; the decree went for the sum charged* 
161. 8s. 3d. y and the costs 11 6s. 8d. But there is a case of 
a most extraordinary appearance, — a case which rises on 
famine. I do not see that any decree was made upon it 
one acre of potatoes is alleged to contain sixty barrels of 
potatoes, and each barrel is valued at 9s. 9c?., that is 
21. ]8s. 6d. tithe for the acre of potatoes." # # # 
" The farming of any revenue is a pernicious idea ; it is 
the practice of absolute Kings, who, anxious about their 
riches, and careless about their people, get a fixed income 
from some desperate adventurer, and then let loose on the 
public this animal of prey, at once destitute of remorse, 
and armed with authority. In free countries such a practice 
is not permitted. You would not allow it to the King, and 
you ought not to allow it to the Church, it is an evil in 
politics, but a scandal in religion ; and the more dangerous 
m the latter, because tithe being indefinite, the latitude of 
extortion is indefinite. The use of the tithe-farmer is to 



get from the parishioner, what the parson would be ashamed 
to demand, and to enable the clergyman to absent himself 
from his duty. The powers of the tithe-farmer are summary 
laws and ecclesiastical courts ; his livelihood is extortion ; 
his rank in society is generally the lowest ; and his occu- 
pation is to pounce on the poor in the name of the Lord. 
He is a species of wolf, left by the shepherd to take care of 
the flock in his absence ; he fleeces both, and begins with 
the parson. 

u In one of the disturbed parishes, the parish wished to 
come to a good understanding with the clergyman, and to 
pay him in person, but the tithe-farmer obstructed such au 
accommodation, and by his mercenary intervention pre- 
vented concord, moderation, and composition. Parishes 
were not only subject to one tithe-farmer, but in some 
cases were cursed with a legion of them ; a non-resident 
clergyman shall employ a tithe-farmer, who shall set the 
tithe over again to two blacksmiths, who go among the 
flock like two vultures. A tithe-farmer shall, on being 
questioned, give the following account of himself : — that 
he held the tithe from one who had them from an officer, 
who held them from a clergyman who did not reside in a 
parish, where there were resident, no dean, no rector, no 
vicar, no schoolmaster ; where the whole business of 
Christianity on the Protestant side, was transacted by a 
curate at 50/. a-year ; and as the parish has been disturbed 
by the tithe-farmer or proctor, so it had in some cases been 
quieted in getting rid of him. I have known a case where 
the parish made with their clergyman the following agree^ 
ment : ' Sir, we pay your proctor 800/. a-year, and he 
gives you 600/. We will give you 600/., and become your 
collectors and your security.' In another living, the 
parish paid the proctor 450/. a-year, and the proctor paid 
the parson 300/. The parishioners became the collectors 
vol. in. y 


and the security, paid the clergyman 300/. a-year, took for 
their trouble 30/., and eased the parish of 120/. The con- 
sequence was peace ; and the more you investigate this 
subject, the more you will find that the disturbance of the 
people, and the exactions of the Church have been com- 
mensurate, and that the peace of the former has attended 
the moderation of the latter. Nor is it only the excess of 
exaction which makes the tithe-farmer a public misfortune. 
His mode of collection is another scourge : he puts his 
charges into one or more rates payable at a certain time ; 
if not then discharged, he serves the countryman with a 
summons ; charging him sixpence for the service, and one 
shilling for the summons ; he then puts the whole into a 
Kerry bond or instrument which bears interest ; he then 
either keeps the bond over his head, or issues out execution, 
and gets the countryman's body and goods completely into 
his power. To such an abuse is this abominable practice 
carried, that in some of the southern parts of Ireland the 
peasantry are made tributary to the tithe-farmer; draw 
home his corn, his hay, and his turf, — for nothing ; give 
him their labour, their cows, and their horses at certain 
times of the year — for nothing. These oppressions not only 
exist, but have acquired a formed and distinct appellation 
— tributes ; tributes to extortioners tributes paid by the 
poor in the name of the Lord. 

"The White Boy should be hanged ; but I think the tithe- 
farmer should be restrained. I would inflict death on the 
felon, and impose moderation on the extortioner ; and thus 
relieve the community from the offences of both. 

" The true principle with respect to your peasantry is ex- 
oneration ; and if I could not take the burden entirely off 
their back, I would make that burden as light as possible. 
I would exempt the peasant's cow and garden from tithe ; 
if I could not make him rich, I would do the next thing in 



my power ; I would consider his poverty as sacred, and 
vindicate against an extortion, the hallowed circle of his 
little boundary. 

u Tithes are made more respectable than, and superior to, 
any other kind of property. The high priest will not take 
a 1 Parliamentary title,' — that is in other words, he thinks 
they have a divine right to tithe. 

" Whence ? — none from the Jews. The priesthood of the 
Jews had not the tenth ; the Levites had the tenth, be- 
cause they had no other inheritance ; but Aaron and his 
sons had but a tenth of that tenth, that is, the priesthood 
of the Jews had but the hundredth part, the rest was for 
other uses, — for the rest of the Levites, and for the poor, 
the stranger, the widow, the orphan, and the temple. 

"But supposing the Jewish priesthood had the tenth, 
which they certainly had not, the Christian priesthood 
does not claim under them. Christ was not a Levite, nor 
of the tribe of Levi, nor of the Jewish priesthood ; but came 
to protest against that priesthood, their worship, their 
ordinances, their passover, and their circumcision. Will 
a Christian priesthood say it was meet to put down the 
Jewish, but meet likewise to seize on the spoil? — As if 
their riches were of divine right though their religion was 
not. As if Christian disinterestedness might take the land, 
and the tithe given in lieu of the land, and possessed of 
both; and divested of their charity, exclaim against the 
avarice of the Jews ! The apostles had no tithe ; they did 
not demand it ; they, and he whose mission they preached, 
protested against the principle on which tithe is founded. 
1 Carry neither scrip, nor purse, nor shoes; into whatsoever 
house you go — say, Peace !' 

" Here is concord, and contempt of riches, not tithe. 
'Take no thought what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, 
nor for your bodies, what ye shall put on so said Christ 

Y 2 



to his apostles. Does this look like a right, in his priest- 
hood, to a tenth of the goods of the community ? ' Beware 
of covetousness ; seek not what ye shall eat, but seek the 
kingdom of God.' — Give alms, provide yourselves with 
bags that wax not old, a treasure in Heaven which faileth 
not/ Does this look like a right in the Christian priest- 
hood, to the tenth of the goods of the community, ex- 
empted from the poor's dividend ? — ' Distribute to the poor, 
and seek treasure in Heaven.' — 'Take care that your hearts 
be not charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the 
cares of this life.' 

u One should not think that our Saviour was laying the 
foundation of tithe, but cutting up the roots of the claim, 
and prophetically admonishing some of the modern priest- 
hood. If these precepts are of divine right, tithes cannot 
be so, — the precept which orders a contempt of riches, the 
claim which demands a tenth of the fruits of the earth for 
the ministers of the gospel. 

44 The peasantry in apostolic times had been the object 
of charity, not exaction ; those to whose cabin the tithe- 
farmer has gone for the tithe of turf, and to whose garden 
he has gone for tithe-potatoes, the apostles would have 
visited likewise ; but they would have visited with contri- 
bution — not for exaction ; the poor had shared with the 
apostles, though they contributed to the churchman.* # # 

u This was the state of the church in its purity. In the 
fifth century decimation began, and Christianity declined. 
Then indeed the right of tithe was advanced, and advanced 
into a style that damned it. The preachers who advanced 
the doctrine placed all Christian virtue in the payment of 
tithe : they said that the Christian religion, as we say the 
Protestant religion, depended on it ; they said that those 
who paid not their tithes would be found guilty before 



God; and that, if they did not give the tenth, that God 
would reduce the country to a tenth. Blasphemous 
preachers ! — gross ignorance of the nature of things ! — 
impudent familiarity with the ways of God ! — assumed 
knowledge of his judgments, and a false denunciation of 
his vengeance ! And yet even these rapacious, blasphemous 
men did not acknowledge to demand tithes for themselves, 
but the poor! — alms! — the debt of charity — the poor's 
patrimony ! * * * 

" It was not the table of the priest, nor his domestics, nor 
his apparel, nor his influence, nor his ambition; but a 
Christian equipage of tender virtues — the widow, the 
orphan, and the poor. They did not demand the tithe as 
a corporation of proprietors, like an East India Company, 
or a South Sea Company, with great rights of property 
annexed, distinct from the community and from religion ; 
but as trustees, humble trustees to God and the poor, 
pointed out, they presumed, by excess of holiness and con- 
tempt of riches. * * * 

" Life, like establishments, declines. Disease is the lot of 
nature. We oppose its progress by strong remedies ; we 
drink a fresh life at some medicinal fountain, or we find a 
specific in some salubrious herb. Will you call those 
restoratives, innovations on the physical economy? Why, 
then, in the political economy, those statutes which purge 
the public weal, and from time to time guard that infirm 
animal, man, against the evils to which civil society is ex- 
posed — the encroachments of the priest and the politician? 

" It is, then, on a false surmise of our nature this objec- 
tion — we live by a succession of amendment. Such is the 
history of man ; such, above all, is the history of religion, 
where amendment was ever opposed, and the cant expres- 
sions, — the supporting church and state, — were ever ad- 
vanced to continue the abuses of both. On these occasions, 



prejudices, from the ragged battlement of superstition, ever 
screened innovation. When our Elizabeth established the 
Protestant religion, she was called an innovatress ; when 
Luther began the Reformation, he was called an innovator; 
nay, when Herod and the high priest Caiaphas (and high 
priests of all religions are the same) heard that one had 
gone forth into the multitude, preaching, gathering the 
poor like a hen under her wing ; saying to the rich t Give 
unto the poor, and look for treasures in heaven, and take 
heed that your hearts be not overcharged with luxury, 
surfeit, and the cares of this life;' — I say, when Herod and 
the high priest saw the Author of the Christian religion 
thus giving comfort, and countenance, and hope to the 
poor, they were astonished ; they felt in his rebuke of their 
own pomp, and pride, and gluttony, and beastliness, great 
innovation ; they felt, in the sublimity of his morals, great 
innovation; they saw in the extent of his public care, great 
innovation ; and, accordingly, they conspired against their 
Saviour as an innovator, and under the pretence of sup- 
porting what they called the church and state, they stig- 
matized the redemption of man, and they crucified the Son 
of God. * * * 

" Of the two extremes I should dread riches, and above 
all, such indefinite riches as the tenth of the industry, 
capital, and land of three millions would heap in the 
kitchens of nine hundred clergymen, — an impossible pro- 
portion ; but, if possible, an avocation of a very worldly 
kind, introducing gratifications of a very temporal nature, 
passions different from the precepts of the Gospel, ambition, 
pride, and vain-glory. Add to this acquisition of the 
tenth, the litigation which must attend it, and the double 
avocation of luxury and law. Conceive a war of citations, 
contempts, summonses, civil bills, proctors, attornies, and 
all the voluminous train of discord carried on at the suit of 



the man of peace, by the plaintiff in the pulpit, against the 
defendants, his congregation. It is a strong argument 
against the tenth, that such claim is not only inconsistent 
with the nature of things, but absolutely incompatible with 
the exercise of the Christian religion. Had the Apostles 
advanced among the Jews pretensions to the tenth of the 
produce of Judea, they would not have converted a less 
perverse generation ; but they were humble and inspired 
men ; they went forth in humble guise, with naked foot, 
and brought to every man's door, in his own tongue, the 
true belief ; their word prevailed against the potentates of 
the earth ; and on the ruin of barbaric pride and pontific 
luxury, they placed the naked majesty of the Christian 

"This light was soon put down by its own ministers, and 
on its extinction a beastly and pompous priesthood as- 
cended — political potentates, not Christian pastors; full of 
false zeal, full of worldly pride, and full of gluttony; empty 
of the true religion; to their flock oppressive; to their 
inferior clergy brutal ; to their king abject; and to their 
God impudent and familiar. They stood on the altar as a 
stepping-stone to the throne, glozing in the ear of princes, 
whom they poisoned with crooked principles and heated 
advice; and were a faction against their king, when they 
were not his slaves — the dirt under his feet, or the poniard 
in his heart. Their power went down — it burst of its own 
plethory, when a poor Reformer, with the Gospel in his 
hand, and with the inspired spirit of poverty, restored the 
Christian religion. The same principle which introduced 
Christianity guided Reformation. What Luther did for 
us, philosophy has done, in some degree, for the Roman 
Catholics, and religion has undergone a silent reformation; 
and both divisions of Christianity, unless they have lost 
their understanding, must have lost their animosity, though 



they have retained their distinctions. The priesthood of 
Europe is not now what it was once; their religion has in- 
creased as their power has diminished. In these countries 
particularly, for the most part, they are a mild order of 
men, with less dominion and more piety ; therefore their 
character may, for the most part, be described in a few 
words — morality enlightened by letters, and exalted by 
religion. Such many of our parochial clergy, with some 
exceptions, however, particularly in the disturbed parts of 
the kingdom ; — such some of the heads of the church ; — 
such the very head of the church in Ireland. Least of all, 
should you be withheld by that idle intimation stuffed into 
the speech from the throne, suggesting that the church is 
in danger, and holding out, from that awful seat of autho- 
rity, false lights to the nation, as if we had doated back to 
the nonsense of Sacheverel's days, and were to be ridden 
once more by fools and bigots. Parliament is not a bigot. 
You are no sectary — no polemic : it is your duty to unite 
all men, — to manifest brotherly love and confidence to all 
men. The parental sentiment is the true principle of 
government Men are ever finally disposed to be governed 
by the instrument of their happiness. The mystery of 
government, would you learn it? Look in the Gospel, 
and make the source of your redemption the rule of 
authority, and, like the hen in the Scripture, expand your 
wings and cover all your people. 

" Let bigotry and schism, — the zealot's fire, — the high 
priest's intolerance, through all their discordancy, tremble, 
while an enlightened Parliament, with arms of general pro- 
tection, overarches the whole community, and roots the 
Protestant ascendancy in the sovereign mercy of its 
nature. Laws of coercion — perhaps necessary, certainly 
severe — you have put forth already; but your great engine 
of power you have hitherto kept back : that engine which 



the pride of the bigot, nor the spite of the zealot, nor the 
ambition of the high priest, nor the arsenal of the con- 
queror, nor the inquisition, with its jaded rack and pale 
criminal, never thought of, — the engine which, armed 
with physical and moral blessing, comes forth and overlays 
mankind by services, — the engine of redress: this is 
Government, and this the only description of Government 
worth your ambition. Were I to raise you to a great act, 
I should not recur to the history of other nations : I would 
recite your own acts, and set you in emulation with your- 
selves. Do you remember that night, when you gave your 
country a free trade, and with your own hands opened all 
her harbours I — that night, when you gave her a free con- 
stitution, and broke the chains of a century ; while Eng- 
land, eclipsed at your glory and your island, rose, as it 
were, from its bed, and got nearer the sun ! In the arts 
that polish life, the inventions that accommodate, the 
manufactures that adorn it, you will for many years be 
inferior to some other parts of Europe; but to nurse a 
growing people, — to mature a struggling, though hardy 
community, — to mould, to multiply, to consolidate, to in- 
spire, and to exalt a young nation, — be these your barbarous 
accomplishments ! 

"I speak this to you from a long knowledge of your cha- 
racter and the various resources of your soul; and I confide 
my motion to those principles, not only of justice, but of 
fire, which I have observed to exist in your composition, 
and occasionally to break out in a flame of public zeal, 
leaving the ministers of the crown in eclipsed degradation. 
Therefore, I have not come to you furnished merely with a 
cold mechanical plan ; but have submitted to your consi- 
deration the living grievances, conceiving that anything in 
the shape of oppression, once made apparent — oppression, 
too, of a people you have set free — the evil will catch those 



[CHAP. X. 

warm susceptible properties which abound in your mind, 
and qualify you for legislation." 

Mr. Grattan's motion was seconded by Lord 
Kingsbrough, and supported by Mr. Brownlow 
and Mr. Curran ; — it was opposed by Major 
Hobart, Mr. Arthur Browne, Mr. Parsons, and 
Mr. Fitzgibbon (Attorney-general), and rejected 
by 121 to 49. 

Mr. Grattan's speech on this occasion, was pro- 
nounced by the Attorney-general, to have been 
one of the most splendid displays of eloquence the 
House had ever heard. The reviews of the dav, 
in noticing it, say — 4t Mr. Grattan took up three 
hours in delivering this speech, in which he dis- 
played the most consummate eloquence that any 
assembly, whether modern or ancient, could per- 
haps boast of. He took a most comprehensive 
view of tithes from their first origin. The resolu- 
tion he proposed will do him eternal honour ; they 
originated in virtue, and were dictated by hu- 
manity. This speech, by its eloquence and oratory, 
persuaded his hearers, and flashed conviction on 
the House. When he came to reason on the sub- 
ject like a statesman, a philosopher, and a Christ- 
ian, the House was amazed at the blaze of elo- 
quence with which he lighted up the subject ; it 
was an irresistible flow of elocution, which carried 
along with it the passions, the judgment, and 
every feeling both of members and auditors." 



Mr.Grattan's residence at Tinnehinch — Death of his favourite steward — 
Mr. Grattan renews the subject of tithes, 14th April, 1788 — Proposal 
for a settlement thereof — Goes to England — His letters to Mr. Broome 
and Mr. Day respecting the King's heahh, and his return to Parlia- 
ment the ensuing election — King's illness — Regency — State of parties 
in Ireland— Conduct of Mr. Fitzgibbon and the Government Fatal 
consequences to Ireland — Meeting of the English Parliament, No- 
vember, 1788 — Regency question — Mr. Pitt's conduct — Mr. Fox's 
doctrine as to the Prince's right, originated by Lord Loughborough 
— Denied by Mr. Pitt — His letter to the Prince, and reply thereto — 
Resolutions carried against the Prince — Remarks thereon. 

Mr. Grattan's leisure time was now chiefly pass- 
ed in the country. The estate that had been pur- 
chased by the grant of the Irish Parliament, was 
situated in the Queen's county. His trustee and 
friend, Sir John Tydd, who resided in the neigh- 
bourhood, not far from Maryborough, had recom- 
mended the purchase. It extended from the 
River Barrow, the second river for its size in 
Ireland, towards the village of Stradbally, and had 
belonged to Lord Sydney, and afterwards to the 
Cosby family, their relations. 

The place possessed few attractions in point of 
scenery. It was intersected by a canal, (Mr. 
Grattan giving the land to the Company without 
compensation). The country was flat and not 




very fertile. The only pretty views were along 
the banks of the river, where Moore Abbey (the 
seat of Lord Drogheda), with its dark woods, 
formed the back ground. Rich meadows, exten- 
sive pastures, and the graceful windings of the 
smooth flowing waters were the characteristics 
of the place. An ancient oak wood that lay on 
the border of the estate, surrounded the dilapi- 
dated remains of Dunrally Fort, which, with Castle 
Rheban at the Kildare side of the river, had 
guarded the passage where, in former times, many 
a fierce struggle had arisen during the civil wars 
that desolated the kingdom. 

This spot, though somewhat interesting, re- 
quired a clear sky and a summer sun to render it 
agreeable ; and though Mr. Grattan used to visit 
it in fine weather, and enjoyed the walks along 
the border of the river, he did not approve of it 
as a residence, and fixed his abode permanently 
at Tinnehinch, which was more picturesque, and 
where its short distance from Dublin rendered it 
more convenient for him to attend his public 
duties. He devoted the intervals of business to the 
improvement of the place ; he converted the inn 
into a comfortable but unostentatious residence. 
The mountain stream which poured, but more 
often thundered, down the valley, from the water- 
fall, seemed to baffle all his labours, inundating 
the meadows, overlaying them with heaps of sand, 
and bidding defiance to all his efforts. Rut with 


the aid of a favourite steward, and planting aquatic 
trees, and staking down the sods in the lawns and 
meadows, he formed an alluvial stratum, and suc- 
ceeded in confining the river within its grassy 
banks — 

Quanto praestantius esset, 
Numen aquae viridi si margine clauderet undas 

These agricultural pursuits afforded much 
amusement to his friend, and then neighbour, Sir 
Hercules Langrishe, who exercised his witticism 
on the occasion, observing " There is my friend 
Grattan again contending with his overwhelming 

About this period he lost his favourite steward; 
and in his memorandum-book were found the 
following remarks on this faithful domestic : — It 
is from such traits that the benignity of the human 
heart appears, and the kindness and real character 
of the man is sometimes best discovered. 

" On the 25th of this month, June, I lost my good and 
faithful steward Mat Walshe. He had lived in our family 
since the year 1760, above 30 years. He had contracted a 
most extravagant attachment to us. He had behaved with 
the greatest integrity and activity, and had done whatever 
is reclaimed or planted with the greatest zeal and without 
any assistance; so that I cannot look at any object of my 
farm without some degree of melancholy recollection, nor 
-can I look to any moments of my younger days, without 
a sense of the loss. According to his own directions he is 
to be buried in a churchyard near Carlow ; otherwise I 



[chap. XI. 

should have wished to have him buried where I shall be. 
He had been in his youth very intemperate, which brought 
on a premature old age; he became subject to severe at- 
tacks, which came upon him in consequence of cold, in 
one of which he died : aged 52." 

Mr. Grattan again renewed his exertions to 
effect a settlement of the tithe question ; and on 
the 10th of April, in this year (1788), submitted 
to the House a number of resolutions on this im- 
portant subject. 

1. " Resolved that it would greatly encourage the improve- 
ment of barren lands in Ireland, if said lands for a certain 
time after being reclaimed, were exempted from the pay- 
ment of tithes. 

2. "That a domestic supply of flax is an object to 
which all his Majesty's subjects of Ireland should contri- 

3. " That this House has greatly contributed to said ob- 
jects by various bounties • but that the linen manufacture 
has only flourished in those parts of the kingdom, where a 
total exemption from, or a small composition for tithe of 
flax has existed. 

4. "That, in order to extend the linen manufacture, 
said exemption or composition should be made general. 

5. "That potatoes are the principal subsistence of the 
poor in Ireland, and are in a great part of the kingdom 
most fortunately exempt from tithe. 

6. " That it would much contribute to relieve the poor 
of the south of this kingdom, if the benefit of said exemp- 
tion was extended to them \ and if it shall be made to ap- 
pear that the owners of tithe shall suffer thereby, this 
House will make them just compensation. 




7. " That this House will be ready to relieve the owners 
of tithes from the necessity of drawing the same ; and to 
give said owners a power of recovering the value of the 
same, in all cases by civil bill, or otherwise; provided said 
owners of tithe shall conform to certain ratages to be as- 
certained by Act of Parliament. 

8. " That the better to secure the residence of the clergy, 
a moderate tax on non-residence would be expedient." 

Some extracts of the speech he delivered on 
the occasion are deserving of notice. 

" The Sovereign Pontiff of the Catholic faith, and the 
Catholic King of Spain, distribute one-third of a part of 
the revenues of their Church for the poor, and here are 
some of the enlightened doctors of our Church deprecating 
such a principle, and guarding their riches against the en- 
croaching of Christian charity. I hope they will never 
again afford such an opportunity of comparing them with 
the Pope, or contrasting them with the apostles. I do not 
think their riches will be diminished, but if they were to 
be so, is not the question directly put to them — Which will 
they prefer ? — their flock or their riches ? — for which did 
Christ die — or the apostles suffer martyrdom — or Paul 
preach — or Luther protest ? Was it for the tithe of flax — 
or the tithe of barren land — or the tithe of potatoes — or the 
tithe-proctor — or the tithe-farmer — or the tithe-pig ? Your 
riches are secure ; but if they were impaired by your acts of 
benevolence, — does our religion depend on your riches ? 
On such a principle, your Saviour should have accepted 
the kingdoms of the earth, and their glory, and have ca- 
pitulated with the devil for the propagation of the faith. 
Never was a great principle rendered prevalent by power 
or riches ; low and artificial means are resorted to for ful- 
filling the little views of men ; their love of power, their 




avarice, or ambition ; but to apply to the great design of 
God such wretched auxiliaries, is to forget his divinity, and 
to deny his omnipotence. What ! does the word come 
more powerfully from a dignitary in purple and fine linen, 
than it came from the poor apostle, with nothing but the 
Spirit of the Lord on his life, and the glory of God standing 
on his right hand ? What ! my Lords, not cultivate barren 
land ; not encourage the manufactures of your country ; 
not relieve the poor of your flock, if the Church is to beat 
any expense thereby ! Where shall we find this principle ? — 
not in the Bible. I have adverted to the sacred writings, 
without criticism I allow, but not without devotion ; there is 
not in any part of them such a sentiment; not in the 
purity of Christ, nor the poverty of the apostles, nor the 
prophecy of Isaiah, nor the patience of Job, nor the harp 
of David, nor the wisdom of Solomon ! No, my Lords ; 
on this subject your Bible is against you ; the precepts and 
practice of the primitive Church are against you. The great 
words increase and multiply — the axiom of philosophy, that 
nature does nothing in vain — the productive principle that 
formed the system, and defends it against the ambition and 
encroachments of its own elements — the reproductive prin- 
ciple which continues the system, and which makes vege- 
tation support life, and life administer back again to 
vegetation, taking from the grave its sterile quality, and 
making death itself propagate to life and succession, — the 
plenitude of things, and the majesty of nature, through all 
her organs — manifest against such a sentiment. This blind 
fatality of error, under pretence of defending the wealth 
of the priesthood, checks the growth of mankind, arrests 
his industry, and makes the sterility of the planet a part 
of its religion." 

Mr. Grattan's efforts proved fruitless, and his 
resolutions were rejected. 


In the autumn of 1788, Mr. Grattan was 
obliged to go to England, in consequence of the 
ill health of his lady ; and he communicated to 
his friends Broome and Day the important events 
which now occurred. The proposed visit of his 
Majesty to Bath, mentioned in one of these letters, 
was occasioned by the illness that then began 
to discover itself, and which very soon broke out 
in a most afflicting malady ; deprived the Sove- 
reign of his reason, and left him incapable of 
directing the affairs of the state. 

Mr. Grattan went to London, and from that 
period commenced an acquaintance with the 
Prince of Wales, which the latter often called 
" friendship," and which Mr. Grattan always kept 
up under every change and circumstance to the 
last moment of his life ; not with any view of 
selfish interest, or any object of private ambition, 
but solely with a desire to gain measures for his 
country. He had many interviews with the 
Prince, Lord Loughborough, Mr. Fox, Lord Spen- 
cer, and Mr. Pelham. The two last were to be 
sent to Ireland, in case the Prince was appointed 


Bath, October 8th, 1788. 

My Dear Broome, 
I was on my way to Ireland, and had gotten within twenty 
miles of Chester ; but on recollecting that it might be use- 
ful to try Bath, and that I might not have a better oppor- 
vol. in. z 



[chap. XI. 

tunity, and on a return of head-ache, nothing worse, we 
turned back for this place. We have been here a week. 
The waters do not disagree, but Mrs. Grattan was well 

Like all other towns, this is disagreeable to me; a total 
change of life, no walks, no retirement. I have lost the 
autumn, and shall only be in the country to enjoy the 
hibernos soles, A few moments stolen from idleness and hid 
in a black closet, where candles are necessary in midday, 
are the only opportunities I have for thought or study. 

They report that the Duke of Cumberland will come 
here, which is bad ; and that the Prince of Wales is 
coming, which is worse ; and that the King is coming, 
which is worst of all. They will throng, disturb, and 
flutter this very idle sauntering city. As to the King, I 
do not believe he will come ; the others, it is said, will. 

I have been in the country, about this town, which is 
beautiful ; and the river, though pollution here, is, some 
miles above this, limpid. 

The fog is, in the lower part of this town, very heavy and 
damp. We are this moment overhung with it. I long 
for clear water, and clear mountain-air, "oh rus! quando 
te aspiciam V 

Since I wrote to you from Matlock, I went through a 
very fine part of England, and a very extraordinary one. 
Manufactories carried to a great perfection indeed. 
Birmingham is a proof, among others, of the growth of 
England. Near it I saw a famous factory, belonging to 
Mr. Bolton ; he himself showed it ; a most useful philo- 
sophical man, who has set a whole region to work. 

I hope, in about three weeks, to see you; nor do I expect, 
until that time, to have any enjoyment of the country ; 
that is, any enjoyment at all. The weather is fine, and 
has been so for a long time, but that to me is nothing. I 



wrote to Cuffe, to take care of himself, but have not heard 
of him since your letter. I hear the Latouches are com- 
posed.* I tremble, however, for the consequences of their 
insupportable loss. Yours ever, 

H. G. 


Bath, 1st December, 1788. 

My Dear Day, 
I shall not see you so soon as I thought. I mean to go to 
London to-morrow, and shall stay a week, or perhaps 
longer — long enough to receive a letter from you. The 
news of Bath is the same as it was a week ago. The King 
not in present danger, but his understanding not better. 
The effect of this on both countries must be considerable; 
but whether for their good or not, we cannot yet decide. 
I do not think the country would be ruined, even though 
we should lose the Marquis of Buckingham. What is he 
doing? Is he jobbing? Has he given more reversions to 
his family, or made additional salaries for his friends ? Is 
he laying the foundation of an opposition, with the King's 
commission in his pocket — a powerful, but treacherous 
instrument of opposition ? Write me the news, whatever 
it is, and direct under cover to Mrs. Grattan, St. James's 
Coffee House. Don't forget the tithe intelligence, as I 
can't perhaps be in Ireland as soon as I intended. I wish 
it were sent to me to England. Speak to Herbert, to send 
me the intelligence he promised. Don't forget to speak to 

There is one point in the question of tithes I wish to be 
master of. The pamphlet called " Authenticus" says, that 
the revenues of the clergy, in the diocese of Cork and 

* This was the death of Lady Lanesborough (Miss Latouche), one of 
the most beautiful of women. 

z 2 


Clogher, have been much increased by the corn mills in 
the county of Cork, and the corn trade from the seaports 
of Kinsale, Cork, Youghall, and Dungarvan. I wish to 
know from what period these mills and this corn trade 
have been established. You see the point of the question. 
Ascertain the date of these things within thirty years ; and 
we ascertain the growth of rateage to be within that time. 

Mrs. Grattan is very well. If the papers are very volu- 
minous, Sheridan will direct them. Yours sincerely, 

H. Grattan. 


London, 39, Jermyn St., 5th Dec. 1788. 
My Dear Day, 
I wrote to Bushe some time ago, relative to myself ; but, 
having received no answer to two letters, I fear mine may 
have miscarried. The purport of the letters was this : — I 
wished to know how the county of Dublin was circum- 
stanced as to candidates ; — whether I had a chance of 
coming in for that county without a contest; for I will not 
be at any expense. I wished this enquiry to be made 
with all secrecy. Another county which occurred was the 
county of Wicklow. I should prefer it to that of Dublin. 
There seems a want of candidates for it. Westby probably 

is secure ; but as to that Lord , I can't foresee that 

he will be returned. Lord Meath's son don't, as far as I 
can understand, look to the county. Lord Powerscourt's 
brothers are college boys, and I know of nobody else. 
The interests in Wicklow, I fancy, are — Lord Powerscourt, 
Lord Fitzwilliam, Cunningham, and Lord Meath. Find 
out for me whether these parties are engaged, and how 
they are engaged. First speak to Bushe, to know from 
him what he has done, or whether he has received my 
letters. This, too, must be managed with secrecy. 



As to politics, the papers inform you better than I can. 
The King is now insane, with a possibility, or even a 
probability of recovery, to be collected, not from any symp- 
toms discovered in his case, but from experience in cases 
supposed to be similar. They talk much of a change of 
Ministry, and I believe with reason. The House yesterday 
was very full, but did nothing. On Monday it will pro- 
ceed to business. I'll write to you anything worth your 
attention. All well. Yours ever, 

H. Grattan. 

We come now to another very important and 
interesting period of Irish history. The country 
had scarcely got out of one difficulty — (that of the 
Propositions,) when she fell into another — the 
Regency. The Irish opposition espoused the 
cause of the Prince of Wales, and thus ren- 
dered Mr. Pitt their decided enemy ; his prin- 
ciple on the question was good, and so was 
his manner of proposing it. He managed it 
with great address, and gained the King and 
the people. 

In Ireland, the opposition wanted to carry 
several measures, and hoped that the country 
would be enabled to gain them by the course 
which they took. They wanted a Pension Bill, a 
Place Bill, a Responsibility Bill, a New Police 
Bill, and a bill to prevent revenue officers from 
voting at elections. These were not very great 
measures, but they were useful objects, and the 
opposition were right to contend for them ; some 
of them had been opposed by the Government, 




and although Mr. Grattan had in general, sup- 
ported the Duke of Rutland's administration, and 
did not oppose the Marquess of Buckingham until 
he and his ministers had run into extremes, yet 
he found himself unable to carry any of these 
measures ; so that the remark made by Mr. Flood 
was almost realized in the instance of his oppo- 
nent, " that no good could be done for Ireland 
without taking office ; for the influence of the 
Crown was so great, it was not possible to oppose 
it, and the only way to serve the country, was to 
serve her when in office." 

There were some, but very few checks that still 
remained upon the Government, and kept them 
under control. Mr. Denis Daly, though in office, 
and in disposition aristocratic, (perhaps not too 
much so) was warmly attached to liberty ; so 
were the Ponsonbys, though they sometimes used 
to get out on furlough, (as was jocosely said,) and 
their friends got places from Government. The 
Volunteers too, had not yet laid down their arms. 
Lord Charlemont still remained at their head ; he 
continued to review them ; and while that spirit 
lasted, it somewhat restrained the disposition to 
excess, that Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Beresford 
(who was at the head of the revenue) then dis- 
played. But when these checks were removed, 
and the Government was left free to proceed un- 
restrained, the objects which the popular party 
had in view were found almost unattainable. 



The question of a Regency now presenting it- 
self, Mr. Grattan sought to turn it to account, for 
the benefit of the country. It was a fatal question, 
and certainly did great injury to Ireland. It was 
the first that tried the exercise of her free Parlia- 
ment, shewed the possibility of a separation, and 
that the countries might have had two executives; 
thus exposing the only vulnerable point that lay 
between them. The danger, however, was more 
apparent than real, and much more was made of 
it than it merited ; for there was no difference be- 
tween the countries as to the person who was to 
be Regent, though there was a difference as to the 
principle on which that person was to be ap- 

In Ireland, Parliament could only proceed by 
address, not by bill ; for the Irish Parliament 
could not call on the Chancellor of England to 
put the English great seal to a commission ; and 
certainly those who had supported Irish indepen- 
dence, would not be the persons to insist on such 
a right. Hence the proceedings of the Irish Par- 
liament were more strictly constitutional than 
those of the British ; and were carried on with 
becoming national spirit, and a sentiment that was 
certainly Irish, and highly creditable. 

If the question is considered in the abstract, 
one may conceive that a great benefit could be 
derived from another Parliament, operating as a 
check upon an ambitious minister in England, 


the regency; 

[chap. XI. 

and a corrupt House of Commons ; and if England 
had chosen a private individual, and named Mr. 
Pitt, Regent, it is a question whether the Irish 
Parliament should not have interfered. In case 
of peace or war, it would have been a fortunate 
thing to have had another Parliament to interpose, 
as in the instance of the American Colonies, and 
have stopped the precipitation of Lord North ; 
and curbed the passions of George III.* But 
take it altogether, it was a fatal question for Ire- 
land ; — she gained the Prince, but she lost the 
King and Mr. Pitt for ever. 

Mr. Fitzgibbon urged his cause in a clever but 
contumelious manner, and irritated the opposite 
party extremely. They proceeded on the im- 
pulse of their feelings, (perhaps not the best mode 
of acting) and were hurried into a contest with 
the Lord-lieutenant: They censured him ; he 

* This "hobby-horse" of George the Third, as the American war was 
called by Lord Mansfield, cost England large sums while it lasted, and 
larger sums after it ended ; for it appears from the report of the secre- 
tary of the American Treasury, lately published, that in 1838, Great 
Britain imported into the United States goods to the amount of 
44,191,851 dollars, or about 9,000,000/. ; and as the population of the 
States is about 16,000,000, the imports are at the rate of 1 Is. 3d, a-head. 
The imports of Great Britain into the British West Indies in 1836, were 
3,786,543/.; and as the population is about 900,000 souls, that is, at the 
rate of more than 4/. a-head, or eight times as much as that into the 
United States from Great Britain, which if still belonging to the mother 
country, would, according to this calculation, have taken from her 
64,000,000/, per annum. Such are the losses which the fancy or the 
frenzy of sovereigns and ministers sometimes cost their subjects. 



grew incensed; and then he wreaked his ven- 
geance on the country. 

Those of the Opposition who had places, lost 
them. Government proceeded with great asperity 
against the House of Commons ; — they divided 
situations, split them in parts in order to increase 
the number of dependents in the House, for the 
Lord-lieutenant. They brought thirty-two mem- 
bers, and publicly professed to have done so. In 
short, they did that for which they should have 
been impeached. 

The Opposition had no majority any longer 
than the likelihood of the Prince being appointed 
Regent, lasted. When that hope vanished, their 
numbers diminished, and the Lord-lieutenant left 
the country, having corrupted the Parliament. 
The censure upon him was a measure that the 
dignity of the House demanded ; but it was a 
dangerous step for the party, inasmuch as they 
were not then certain that the King might not 
recover, and they therefore incurred the vengeance 
of a desperate government. 

The Lord-lieutenant did not wish to leave Ire- 
land under the disgrace of the censure passed 
upon him. He accordingly waited till the ensuing 
year, and in the meantime applied himself to all 
the arts of corruption. It was generally stated, 
that one of the peerages was sold to Mr. Brown 
(afterwards Lord Kilmaine); another to SirN. Law- 
less [Lord Cloncurry); a third to Lord Limerick. 




They gave 3000/. a-piece for them. This was laid 
out in a stock-purse for the purchase of members 
in the lower house ; and the circumstance was 
discovered by Mr. Brown quarrelling with Govern- 
ment, because they refused to return his son as one 
of the members. 

When Mr. Pitt heard of their conduct, he said 
nothing in condemnation of it. He was not at 
any time a friend to Ireland, and was angry and 
hurt at the conduct of the Irish Parliament for 
taking part with the Prince against him. He 
therefore countenanced the proceedings of the 
Marquess of Buckingham ; thus increasing the 
influence of the Crown at the expense of the rights 
of the people. 

Then, and not till then, did Mr. Grattan oppose 
the Government. He found it impossible to sup- 
port the system which the Marquess of Buckingham 
practised, — which Mr. Fitzgibbon openly avowed, 
— and which Mr. Pitt neither repudiated nor con- 
demned. In fact, this was not Government, but 
corruption and abomination, — conduct which Mr. 
Pitt would not have dared to pursue in England, 
— conduct which shewed that his character was 
at once revengeful, full of ambition, and an inor- 
dinate love of power. 

Much of the injury that arose at this time was 
the result of Mr. Fitzgibbon's conduct. A pro- 
posal was made in the Cabinet to postpone the 
meeting of the Irish Parliament until a later 




period, at which it happened that the King was 
convalescent. Mr. Fitzgibbon opposed this, and 
with success ; yet afterwards he wished Parlia- 
ment to adjourn, and postpone the very question 
which he had precipitated. He did this certainly 
with a great show of zeal, but with a lack of 
sense, and quite at the expense of his party, 
whose character he would have served more if he 
had abused his country less, and whose interest 
he would have advanced much more if he had not 
brought them to a contest with the certainty of 
defeat, and with no other consolation but that of 
paying his zeal and lamenting his rashness. By 
his precipitation, he lost to the Government their 
question on the regency; he lost their question 
on the vote of censure ; and he completely lost 
the Lord-lieutenant, who was obliged to resign. 

These times have gone by, and it is easy to 
criticise ; but it may be said, perhaps with cor- 
rectness, that matters might have been managed 
better. The Irish had an opening, and they 
might have taken advantage of it ; for the English 
Parliament had assembled before the Irish, and 
had resolved to address the Prince, requesting 
him to accept the office of Regent. The Irish 
Parliament might have alluded to that point, and 
urged it, praising his father for what he had done 
for Ireland, which, as he was insane, could not 
be construed as flattery, because he could not 
hear it. Then calling on him to accept the office 




of Regent, they would have avoided a rupture 
with the British Parliament. But instead of this 
they made enemies of two desperate and powerful 
opponents, — the King and Mr. Pitt. They found 
afterwards the error of their proceeding, and how 
fatal it was to irritate so formidable an enemy. 
In the hurry of the hour, and in the 'protestation of 
affection from the Prince, they did not reflect how 
strongly his father had manifested his enmity 
towards the freedom of his American subjects, 
and how possible it was for the son not to like his 
Irish subjects much better.* They forgot, too, 
that there is no character so dangerous as that of 
a man who retires from his people, and plots 
against their liberty, — who practises the most 
rigid economy in everything except bribery, and 
asks nothing from his subjects except their Con- 
stitution. The Regency first, and the Union 
afterwards, proved how effectually George III. 
could unite and practise these arts of govern- 

The English Parliament met on the 20th of 
November, and adjourned to the 4th of December, 
when the physicians (Doctors Willis and Warren) 
were examined, and made their report. The parts 
which Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox took on this occasion 

* Fatally confirmed in 1821 and 1822. See also Sir Robert Peel's 
Speech in 1839 on the change of ministers, where it appeared that, 
to the very last hour, George the Fourth resisted the concession of the 
Catholic question. 


are well known. Mr. Fox, advancing, at first, at 
the suggestion, it was said, of Lord Lough- 
borough,* rather too broad an opinion, that the 
Prince of Wales had as clear a right to assume 
the reins of Government as if his Majesty had 
undergone a natural demise. This doctrine Mr. 
Pitt strongly reprobated, and protested against 
with great violence ; but he too went rather too 
far when he termed it "treason to the Constitution" 
Long and violent debates then arose, which were 
carried on with great party-spirit, much heat, and 
some personality. 

Mr. Pitt named a day to propose a resolution, 
declaring the Constitution and the rights of the 
people. Mr. Fox then drew in a little, and did 
not insist on the right. Mr. Pitt and his party, 
by their speeches and their papers, posted about 
Whitehall and the Admiralty, made the people 
believe that the Prince wanted to invade their 
rights and to become King. He thus excited a 
great ferment ; so that on his resolution he had 
a majority of upwards of 60. He then proposed 
that the Prince should be Regent, under the con- 

* Mr. Wedderburne sat in 1765 as member for the Scotch borough of 
Rothsay, &c. In 1771 he was appointed solicitor, and in 1778 attorney- 
general ; in 1 780 created Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and 
advanced to the peerage by the title of Lord Loughborough. In 1793 
he became Lord Chancellor; in 1801 he was created Earl of Rosslyn, 
and in 1805 he died. He was almost the only man who in 1782 
opposed the repeal of the 6th of George the First, and insisted on 
the legislative supremacy of Great Britain over Ireland. See farther, as 
to his character, in Brougham's sketches. 


trol of the Queen, who was to be advised by him 
(Mr. Pitt). In other words, he made the Queen 
Regent, and himself King. Mr. Burke called 
him " one of the Prince's competitors" 

It was not until the 22nd of December that the 
resolutions were carried. The first declared the 
King's illness, and that the exercise of the Royal 
authority was interrupted ;* the second, that it 
was the right and duty of the Lords and Commons 
to supply the defect ; the third, that they should 
determine how the Royal assent could be given 
to a Bill for that purpose. 

Mr. Pitt was then obliged to have resort to an 
artifice. He proposed that the two Houses should 
appoint a committee to order the Chancellor to 
affix the great seal to the bill. This, the two 
Houses had no right to do ; for then they might 
do the same when the King was well, and so de- 
pose him. According to the British Constitution, 
this order can only be done by the King ; his 
privy seal is the warrant to the great seal, and 
when the King cannot attend, and that bills are to 
be passed, he orders any of the Dukes, with an 
Archbishop, and the Chancellor, to affix the royal 

Lord Thurlow, who was Chancellor, voted 
against the Prince in the House of Lords, but 
afterwards he had an interview with him, for the 
purpose as was said, of preserving his office ; and 

* Carried against Lord North's amendment by 268 to 204. 


mr. pitt's conduct. 


it is probable, that if he had been ordered, he 
would have refused to put the great seal to the 
bill. Perhaps he could have been compelled to 
do it, and no doubt would have considered well 
beforehand, and have been very certain that 
the King was past recovery ; — for if he had not 
taken great care of that, the King assuredly 
would have severely punished him for his contu- 

Mr. Pitt then submitted his intentions to the 
Prince. The reply to his letter was the pro- 
duction of Mr. Burke ; and as a specimen of 
talent, feeling, and principle, it is worthy of being 
here introduced, f 

* Mr. Burke, aware that Lord Thurlow was carrying on a negotiation 
with the Prince, in order that he might retain the seals, could not re- 
strain his feelings on hearing him exclaim in the House of Lords, 
"When I forget his Majesty s favours, may God forget me." He burst 
out into one of his paroxysms of eloquence. "The theatrical tears then 
shed were not the tears of patriots for dying laws, but of lords for their 
expiring places, ' the iron tears which flowed down Pluto's cheek,' rather 
resembled the dismal bubbling of the Styx, than the gentle murmuring 
stream of Aganippe — in fact, they were tears for his Majesty's 

t Mr. Pitt's letter was as follows : — 

" To His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. 


"The proceedings in Parliament being now brought to a point, which 
will render it necessary to propose to the House of Commons the parti- 
cular measures to be taken for supplying the defect of the personal 
exercise of the royal authority during the present interval, and your 
Royal Highness having some time since signified your pleasure, that 
any communication on this subject should be in writing, I take the 
liberty of respectfully entreating your Royal Highness's permission to 


mr. pitt's letter. [chap. xl. 

In consequence of the death of the Speaker, 
Mr. Cornwall, a few days' delay intervened. On 
the 5th of January, Mr. W. W. Grenville, (after- 
wards Lord Grenville) was elected in his place, 

submit to your consideration the outlines of the plan which his Majesty's 
confidential servants humbly conceive (according to the best judgment 
which they are able to form) to be proper to be proposed in the present 

" It is their humble opinion, that your Royal Highness should be 
empowered to exercise the royal authority in the name and on the be- 
half of his Majesty, during his Majesty's illness, and to do all acts 
which might legally be done by his j Majesty ; with provisions, never- 
theless, that the care of his Majesty's royal person and the management 
of his Majesty's household, and the direction and appointment of the 
officers and servants therein, should be in the Queen, under such regu- 
lations as may be thought necessary. That the power to be exercised 
by your Royal Highness should not extend to the granting the real or 
personal property of the king (except as far as relates to the renewal of 
leases), to the granting any office in reversion, or to the granting, for 
any other term than during his Majesty's pleasure, any pension, or 
any office whatever, except, such as must by law be granted for life, or 
during good behaviour, nor to the granting any rank or dignity of the 
peerage of this realm, to any person except his Majesty's issue, who 
shall have attained the age of twenty-one years. These are the principal 
points which have occurred to his Majesty's ministers. 

" I beg leave to add, that their ideas are formed on the supposition 
that his Majesty's illness is only temporary, and may be of no long 
duration. It may be difficult to fix beforehand, the precise period for 
which these provisions ought to last : but if unfortunately his Majesty's 
recovery should be protracted to a more distant period, than there is 
reason at present to imagine, it will be open hereafter to the wisdom of 
Parliament, to reconsider these provisions, whenever the circumstances 
appear to call for it. 

" If your Royal Highness should be pleased to require any further 
explanation on the subject, and should condescend to signify your 
orders, that I should have the honour of attending your Royal Highness 
for that purpose, or to intimate any other mode in which your Royal 


and on the 16th of January, Mr. Pitt proposed his 

The first declared the opinion of the physicians 

Highness may wish to receive such explanation, I shall respectfully 
wait your Royal Ilighness's commands. 

" I have the honour to be, with the utmost deference and submis- 

" Sir, your Royal Highness' most dutiful and devoted servant, 
" Downing Street, « W. Pitt." 

"Tuesday Night, Dec. 30, 1788." 

The Prince of Wales's Answer to Mr. Pitt's Letter. 

" The Prince of Wales learns from Mr. Pitt, that the proceedings in par- 
liament are now in a train which enable Mr. Pitt, according to the inti- 
mation in his former letter, to communicate to tlte Prince the outlines of 
the plan which his Majesty's confidential servants conceive proper to be 
proposed in the present circumstances. Concerning the steps already 
taken by Mr. Pitt, the Prince is silent — nothing done by the two Houses 
of Parliament can be a proper subject of his animadversion ; but when, 
previously to any discussion in parliament, the outlines of a scheme of 
government are sent for his consideration, in which, it is proposed 
that he shall be personally and particularly concerned, and by which the 
royal authority, and the public welfare may be deeply affected, the 
Prince would be unjustifiable were he to withhold an explicit declara- 
tion of his sentiments ; his silence might be construed into a previous 
approbation of a plan, the accomplishment of which, every motive of 
duty to his father and sovereign, as well as of regard for the public 
interest, obliges him to consider as injurious to both. 

"In the state of deep distress in which the Prince and the whole royal 
family were involved by the heavy calamity which has fallen upon the 
King, and at a moment when Government, deprived of its chief energy 
and support, seemed peculiarly to need the cordial and united aid of 
all descriptions of good subjects, it was not expected by the Prince that 
a plan should be offered to his consideration, by which government was 
to be rendered difficult, if not impracticable, in the hands of any person 
intended to represent the King's authority, much less in the hands of his 
eldest son, the heir apparent to his kingdoms, and the person most 
bound to the maintenance of his Majesty's just prerogatives and autho- 


A A 

354 mr. pitt's five resolutions [chap, xi 

as to his Majesty's recovery; the second* re- 
stricting the Regent from the power of granting 
peerages ; the third restraining him from making 

rity, as well as most interested in the happiness, the prosperity, and the 
glory of his people. 

" The Prince forbears to reason on the several parts of the sketch of the 
plan laid before him, — he apprehends it must have been formed with 
sufficient deliberation, to preclude the probability of any argument of 
his, producing any alteration of sentiment in the projectors of it; but 
he trusts with confidence in the wisdom and justice of Parliament, when 
he whole of the subject, and the circumstances connected with it, shall 
come under their deliberation. 

" He observes, therefore, only generally on the heads communicated 
by Mr. Pitt, and it is with deep regret the Prince makes the observa- 
tion, that he sees in the contents of that paper, a project for producing 
weakness, disorder, and insecurity in every branch of the administration 
of affairs; a project for dividing the royal family from each other; for 
separating the court from the state, and thereby disjointing government 
from its natural and accustomed support ; a scheme disconnecting the 
authority to command service, from the power of animating it by re- 
ward, and for allotting to the Prince all the invidious duties of Govern- 
ment, without the means of softening them to the people by any one 
act of grace, favour, or benignity. 

" The Prince's feelings in contemplating this plan, are also rendered 
still more painful to him, by observing that it is not founded on any 
general principle, but is calculated to infuse jealousies and distrust 
wholly groundless, (he trusts) in that quarter whose confidence it will 
ever be the first pride of his life to receive and merit. 

" With regard to the motive and object of the limitations and restric- 
tions proposed, the Prince can have but little to observe. No light or 
information whatever is offered to him by his Majesty's ministers on 
this point ; they have informed him what the powers are which they 
mean to refuse to him, not why they are to be withheld. The Prince, 
however, holding, as he does, that it is an undoubted and fundamental 
principle of the constitution, that all the powers and prerogatives of the 
crown are vested there as in trust for the benefit of the people, and that 

* Carried by 216 to 159. 




any grant, pension, place or annuity ; the fourth 
from exercising any power over the King's per- 
sonal property ; the fifth * vesting the care of the 

they are sacred only as they are necessary to the preservation of that 
poise and balance of the constitution, which experience has proved to 
be the true security of the liberty of the subject, must be allowed to 
observe, that the plea of public utility ought to be strong, manifest, and 
urgent, which calls for the extinction and suspension of any one of 
those essential rights in the supreme power, or its representative; or 
which can justify the Prince in consenting, that in his person an experi- 
ment shall be made to ascertain with how small a portion of the kingly 
power the executive government of this country may be carried on. 

"The Prince has only to add, that if security for his Majesty's re- 
possessing his rightful government whenever it shall please Providence, 
in bounty to the country, to remove the calamity with which he is 
afflicted, be any part of the object of this plan, the Prince has only to be 
convinced that any measure is necessary, or even conducive to that end, 
to be the first to approve and urge it as the preliminary and paramount 
consideration in any settlement in which he would consent to share. 
If attention to what is presumed might be his Majesty's feelings and 
wishes on the happy day of his recovery be the object, it is with the 
truest sincerity the Prince expresses his firm conviction, that no event 
could be more repugnant to the feelings of his royal father, than the 
knowledge of the government of his son and representative had exhi- 
bited the sovereign power of the realm in a state of degradation, of cur- 
tailed authority, and diminished energy ; a state hurtful in practice to 
the prosperity and good government of his people, and injurious in its 
precedent, to the security of the monarchy and the rights of his family. 

*' Upon that part of the plan, which regards the King's real and per- 
sonal property, the Prince feels himself compelled to remark, that it 
was not necessary for Mr. Pitt, nor proper to suggest to the Prince, the 
restraint he proposed against the Prince's granting away the King's real 
or personal property. The Prince does not conceive that during the 
King's life, he is by law entitled to make any such grant; and he is 
sure that he has never shewn the smallest inclination to possess any 
such power; but it remains with Mr. Pitt to consider the eventual 

Carried by 229 to 165. 
A A 2 



King's person in the Queen, giving her the nomi- 
nation and appointment of his household, and 
other matters relating to the royal person. 

This resolution was not carried till the 19th of 
January, and thus by the management of the minis- 
ter, two months were suffered to elapse without 
supplying the vacancy in the royal authority. 

On the 6th of February, the bill was introduced, 
and after great opposition, passed on the 12th. 
In the meantime the King's health improved. 
The House of Lords adjourned from time to time, 
and on the J Oth of March, Parliament was opened 
by commission, and thus the Regency ended. 

It would have been better, both for the country 
and the Constitution, to have made the Prince, 
Regent at once ; though it might have appeared 
singular to appoint a person to take care of the 

interest of the royal family, and to provide a proper and natural 
security against the mismanagement of them in others. 

"The Prince has discharged an indispensable duty in thus giving his 
free opinion on the plan submitted to his consideration. His convic- 
tion of the evils which may arise to the King's interests, to the peace 
and happiness of the royal family, and to the safety and welfare of the 
nation, from the government of the country remaining longer in its pre- 
sent maimed and debilitated state, outweighs, in the Prince's mind, 
every other consideration, and will determine him to undertake the 
painful trust imposed upon him by the present melancholy necessity, 
(which of all the King's subjects, he deplores the most), in full confi- 
dence that the affection and loyalty to the King, the experienced attach- 
ment to the house of Brunswick, and the generosity which has always 
distinguished this nation, will carry him through the many difficulties 
inseparable from this most critical situation, with comfort to himself, 
with honour to the King, and with advantage to the public." 


King, whose interest it was that he should not 
recover. But to make Mr. Pitt, in fact, almost 
Regent, was a monstrous measure. He acted in 
this matter with great cunning; he delayed the 
proceedings as much as possible, and contrived to 
gain popularity very unjustly. Party spirit ran 
high; the Prince was imprudent; the people 
did not favour either him or the opposition ; the 
latter was composed of men of impaired fortunes, 
and the former was dissipated and extravagant ; 
the carelessness of Fox, and the licentiousness of 
the Prince, gave to Pitt a complete victory ; he 
steered through every difficulty with the greatest 
art, and appeared to guard at one and the same 
moment, the rights of the House of Commons, 
and those of the royal person ; he gained the 
people by professing to defend the Constitution 
against Fox ; and he gained the King by de- 
fending him against his son. 

Thus it turned out that Mr. Fox's declaration was 
most injurious to his party, and that he went too 
far when he trusted to the dictum of Lord Lough- 
borough, who was a party man, and not a great 
lawyer. If he had merely said that, the inca- 
pacity of the King being ascertained, the Commons 
were the fit judges whether the Prince should be 
Regent, he would have had the House to support 
him. Pitt's doctrine went to establish a demo- 
cracy ; and there is no analogy in the Constitution 
to support that, but the reverse. The analogy was 


directly against him, namely, that the body that 
is to be the judge of the incapacity of the King, 
should not have the disposal of the power; the 
same person should not be judge and jury. In 
the doctrine of Fox there was an analogy from 
the Constitution, that on the demise of the father 
the son succeeds. On the part of Pitt, it was a 
dangerous power to give to the two Houses of 
Parliament ; for if the people are taught that the 
weakness of the King is a ground of incapacity, 
(an idea they may be impressed with) and the two 
Houses are made the judge of that incapacity, 
you show the people how they may get rid of the 
executive magistrate. 

Take such a case as that of Henry VI., a very 
weak Prince. The two estates might be induced to 
declare him incapable, and a very able minister, 
who got the confidence of the House of Commons, 
might influence persons about the Prince to de- 
clare him in such a state, that the two Houses of 
Parliament might consider that it amounted to 
incapacitation. The doctrine of Mr. Pitt opened 
the door to such a danger.* 

On this point, Mr. Fox showed more wisdom : 
considering the moral incapacity as a physical in- 
capacity, he thought that, from analogy to the 

* Wraxall's statement, in his Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 266, seems to con- 
firm this, when he says the King told Lord Walsingham "that if a 
Regency had been established, he would not have come forward to 
overturn it." 



Constitution, the son should succeed. Mr. Pitt's 
doctrine was founded in error, and his proceeding 
by bill was not merely at variance with the prin- 
ciples of the British Constitution, but was an 
absurdity in terms ; insomuch as no Act of Parlia- 
ment can be passed without a King, and there 
was in this case no King to pass one. The cre- 
ation therefore of that body, was the creation of a 
fourth estate. But his doctrine flattered the people, 
as it seemed to dispense with royalty, and give 
them power by rendering it elective instead of 
hereditary. Hence on the King's recovery, the 
minister returned to power with greater influence 
and greater popularity than ever. 



Meeting of the Irish parliament, February, 1789 — Regency — Mr. Grat- 
tan's motion to proceed by address — Carried — Mr. Fitzgibbon attacks 
Mr. Grattan — The House address the Prince of Wales, and invest 
him with full powers — The Lord-lieutenant refuses to transmit it — 

I Delegates appointed — Second attack of Mr. Fitzgibbon on Mr. Grattan 
— Assertion of the rights of the Irish parliament — Carried — Letters of 
Mr. Pelham, the Duke of Portland, and Mr. Burke — Prince of Wales' 
friendly sentiment towards Ireland — Short money bill — Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon's threat to buy the House — Popular measures — The King 
recovers — The Prince's answer to the Irish Lords and Commons — 
Resolutions signed by the Duke of Leinster, Lord Charlemont, Mr. 
Grattan, &c. — Mr. Fitzgibbon attacks them — Meeting at the provost's 
— Liberal offer rejected by Mr. Fitzgibbon — All the friends of the 
Prince turned out of office — List of Peerages sold. 

We now turn to the Irish part of the transaction. 
The Irish Parliament did not meet till February 
1789, when the Lord-lieutenant communicated to 
the House the account of his Majesty's illness. 
In answer to this, an address was proposed, ex- 
pressing the sense that the House entertained of 
his Excellency's good wishes for the welfare of 
Ireland. This brought on the question respecting 
the conduct of the administration, in granting a 
pension to Mr. Orde, and a reversion to Mr. 
(afterwards Lord) Grenville, both of which were 
severely censured. Mr. Grattan proposed an 
amendment to this address, which was adopted ; 
and he also carried, by 128 to 74, an amendment 


to Mr. Fitzherbert (the Secretary's) motion, 
namely — that the House be called over on the 
11th instead of the 16th. 

When the House met, and the papers respecting 
the King's health, and the proceedings of the 
British Parliament were laid before them, Mr. 
Fitzherbert stated the intention of Government, to 
propose the Prince of Wales with all necessary 
rights and prerogatives, and that this should be 
done by bill. Mr. Ponsonby opposed this as un- 
constitutional. Mr. Grattan proposed — 

" That the personal exercise of the Royal authority, is, 
by his Majesty's indisposition, for the present, interrupted." 

This being carried, Mr. Conolly moved — 
"That it is the opinion of this Committee, that an 
humble address be presented to His Royal Highness the 
Prince of Wales, humbly to request His Royal Highness 
to take upon himself the Government of this realm, during 
the continuation of his Majesty's present indisposition, and 
no longer ; and under the style and title of Prince Regent 
of Ireland, in the name of his Majesty, to exercise and 
administer, according to the laws and Constitution of this 
kingdom, all regal powers, jurisdictions, and prerogatives 
to the Crown and Government thereof belonging." 

The motion was seconded by Mr. George Pon- 

Mr. Fitzgibbon now came forward, and displayed 
the feelings by which he was swayed, and the 
violent passions by which he was governed. His 
overbearing manner would submit to no restraint ; 
he let loose his temper. Factious in argument, 


and furious in manner, he denied the right of Ire- 
land to interfere in the nomination of a Regent. 
He asserted — 

" That Ireland had nothing to do but to follow the pro- 
ceedings of the English Parliament ; that the only security 
for Irish liberty was the connexion with England ; and 
that gentlemen who risked breaking this connexion, must 
make up their minds for the union ; he would prefer a 
union to separation. He opposed the mode of proceeding 
by address, which he characterized as contrary to the com- 
mon law, the statute law, and criminal in the extreme. 
That the maxim for Ireland, was always to concur with the 
Parliament of Great Britain; that the Government 
never could go on, unless Ireland followed Great Britain 
implicitly in all regulations of imperial policy ; that de- 
pendence on the Crown of England was the security of 
Irish freedom ; and that the advocates for the independence 
of the Irish Crown were advocates for separation ; and that 
if men differed with the Parliament of England, men who 
had property to lose, would soon become sick of indepen- 
dence. His maxim for England and Ireland was — One 
King, One Law, One JReligion." 

Such were the sentiments of the Attorney-gene- 
ral, which he delivered in a tempest of anger ; 
and this man, who owed his station to the inde- 
pendence of Ireland, was the first to attack her 
rights, and to abuse and revile her friends. But 
he went further; he attacked the transaction 
of 1782, and Mr. Yelverton's bill, and read in 
support of his argument, the amendment of Mr. 
Flood at that period, which he now praised, but 
against which he had then voted. He addressed 



Mr. Grattan no more as his st right honourable 
friend" but as the " right honourable gentleman," 
the compliments which he had before paid him 
were forgotten ; he declared it was necessary that 
the right honourable gentleman should not go 
unreprjehended, and concluded his speech by- 
saying — 

"Sir, that right honourable gentleman and I were bred to 
the same profession ; he quitted it, I adhered to it; he has 
done right, I have not done wrong; I shall say no more; 
he has taken his line, I have taken mine ; I hope we have 
equally succeeded. " 

The purport of this speech, and the real meaning 
was this. Mr. Fitzgibbon was speaking, not for 
Ireland, but for himself ; — his bargain was at that 
very moment made, and he knew that 'promotion 
would be the result of his efforts. The impression, 
however, which he made upon the House, was 
very different from what he expected ; they were 
so amazed at the avowal of his opinions, and so 
displeased, particularly at the mention of the 
union, that all parties joined Mr. Grattan ; and 
this important resolution was carried, even without 
a division. 

Some of Mr. Grattan's remarks in reply to Mr. 
Fitzgibbon, and which, considering the opening it 
afforded, were singularly temperate, were as 
fallows : — 

u It is a great objection to the doctrine of this night, 
that it tends to destroy allegiance. The people of this 
country will be loyal to their King ; but when you set up 



baubles in his place, — when you set up phantoms that can 
give no protection, and are only the stamps of authority, 
— when, instead of the Royal family wearing the Irish 
crown, they are directed to contemplate as the object of 
affection an officer with the great seal in his hand, will the 
advocates for such doctrine answer for the affections of his 
Majesty's subjects of Ireland ? * # * 

" These Crown lawyers, that undermine the Irish throne, 
are not aware of the mischief of their offensive doctrine ; 
they do not know what valuable passions they extinguish, 
what principle of attraction they destroy ; they do not 
consider the effect of their sophistry on the human mind, 
and its cold pestilential consequences in the breast of every 
subject. He cannot detect perhaps, but he revolts at the 
errors of such doctrine, and turns from phantoms set up in 
the place of princes, and refuses his allegiance to idols, 
which the pedants of the profession advance in the place 
of the Sovereign of Ireland or his family. * * # 

" Why make the connexion with England a wretched 
theme for sophistry ? — why make it a constant opportunity 
for rebuke? — why make it a pretence for the humiliation 
of Ireland ? — why introduce it where it is not in danger, 
and resort to it as a pretence for scolding the people of 
Ireland? — why interrupt a proud day like this with mon- 
strous doctrine, that affects to ground itself on that con- 
nexion to which it is highly prejudicial, and tell the 
people of Ireland, ' Do not deliberate, do not indulge your 
temperate ardour to the royal family, do not venture to ex- 
ercise a free will in favour of your Prince ; wait for the 
determinations of another country, and echo them ; wait for 
the great seal of that country, (your King,)— register, — 

" This is incensing one country against another, and 
making the British name an organ for threats, not argu- 
ments, — denunciations, not affection ; and in order to prove 




the offensiveness of such doctrine, let me suppose that the 
British nation were to adopt it, and speak to Ireland in the 
language of the Irish member ; how should we feel, how 
should we resent? — But coming from some of our body, it 
is less inflammatory ; and yet is there a country gentleman 
in this House who is not by such language inflamed, — roused 
by indignation, — not borne down by conviction ? On its 
own principles, a love for the connexion, distinct and 
superior to allegiance or patriotism, I condemn this argu- 
ment: I think the connexion must be the first victim of 
it. * # * 

" Tell your countrymen that your connexion with Great 
Britain is the source of her liberty ; make them proud of 
standing by the side of England ; tell them that all their 
passions and interests can be completely gratified, and 
respectively adhered to with the strictest conformity to 
every principle of connexion ; and the boldest exercise of 
freedom, and the noblest indulgence of every loyal affection 
are perfectly conformable to the closest bonds with the 
British connexion. This is the way to promote the con- 
nexion ; nations are governed not by interest only, but by 
passion also; and the passion of Ireland is freedom ; — so 
much her passion is, that if any Parliament could bring 
this nation bound hand and foot to the feet of the throne, 
with a proffer of her liberties, a wise Monarch who loved 
power, would reject the power of her servitude, and set her 
free to command her absolutely." 

The doctrine that Mr. Grattan laid down here 
was strictly constitutional, — proper as applied to 
the case of Ireland, and prudent as regarded his 
party and the people. In fact the two Houses of 
Parliament became a convention from necessity, 
and were bound by the constitutional power 



alone ; whereas Parliament was bound by the 
legislative power. Conventions can constitute 
and alter ; they did both at the Revolution ; 
abridging the power of the Crown, asserting the 
right of the people, and altering the succession. 
Parliament is bound by the laws of its own insti- 
tution. But Convention is above all law : it is a 
supreme power arising from the necessity of the 
case, — bound, perhaps, by that, but by nothing 
else except the public good. 

Mr. Fitzgibbon, however, and the lawyers 
found plenty of arguments wherewith to oppose 
Mr. Grattan. But the lawyers were interested 
on both sides, and in both countries, and seemed 
ready to decide on the power of Parliaments, 
Conventions, and Kings, just as it suited their pur- 
pose ; however, the true power of the King, and the 
Houses of Parliament, is written in the statute- 
book and in the Constitution, which form a much 
better opinion than that of any lawyer. 

It happened unfortunately, that in England the 
struggle was made a question of power. Mr. 
Sheridan said, in the debate on the Regency, in 
1811, very imprudently and ungraciously as re- 
garded his friends, that it was a mere party 
question ; and certainly part of Mr. Pitt's con- 
duct bore that complexion: his restrictions on 
the peerage, and the doctrine of his followers, 
who were the strenuous supporters of prerogative, 
looked very strange coming from those who had 




abused that very power, and who wanted to take 
away the use, but not the abuse; for this very 
minister and his adherents afterwards in Ireland 
sold the peerage, and with the money corrupted 
the representatives of the people. 

However justly or not the charge of party may 
have been applied by Mr. Sheridan to his friends 
in England, it could not with equal propriety be 
applied to Ireland. Mr. Grattan (and he was the 
chief leader at the time, for Mr, Flood took no 
part on the occasion), although certain, as Mr. 
Fitzgibbon said, of a majority to support him, 
had no personal views, no object of his own, or 
any love of power, (for on all occasions he de- 
clined office.) But in this instance he sincerely 
sought to carry measures for the country, and to 
oppose those which he thought injurious to the 
interests of Ireland. To effect this, he seized the 
opportunity and urged it with zeal, but not with- 
out moderation. The party did not look to office 
for themselves ; they made terms for the country, 
and nothing else; they joined the expectant minis- 
try upon the condition of measures for the country 
and a change of power. The expectant ministry 
were to have withdrawn their powers of govern- 
ment from the Irish junto, who afterwards sold the 
country, and to have granted certain measures ; 
and on their part they stipulated to carry the vote 
for the Regency. The latter were the terms for 
the English party, the former for the Irish; and 



history must acquit them of any view towards 
separation, with which they were charged. 

It is at once a singular and an unfortunate cir- 
cumstance, that all the virtuous efforts and con- 
stitutional struggles that were made for Ireland 
by her supporters, served only to render the 
British minister more hostile to her interests. 
Such were Mr. Ogilvie's suggestions, and the 
Duke of Portland's communications to Lord Shel- 
burne in 1782,* about the blind project of a 
Union ; such the proceedings in 1785, on the pro- 
positions, the commercial jealousy, and the peti- 
tions of the British merchants, against the com- 
merce of Ireland ; and such proved now to be the 
case on the question of the Regency, when the 
Irish parliament incurred the displeasure of Mr. 
Pitt, because they presumed to differ from him in 
the course which he had taken in England, and 
which he thought they were obliged implicitly to 
follow in Ireland. 

In pursuance of the resolutions of the House, 
the address to the Prince of Wales having been 
agreed upon, was, with some amendments in the 
Lords of a complimentary nature to the King, 
adopted by the Commons on the 17th of Feb- 
ruary : — 

" May it please your Royal Highness: 
" We, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects the 
Commons of Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave 

* Vol. II. of these Memoirs, p. 289—293. 




humbly to request that your Royal Highness will be 
pleased to take upon you the Government of this realm 
during the continuation of his Majesty's present indisposi- 
tion, and no longer; and, under the style and title of Prince 
Regent of Ireland, in the name and on the behalf of his 
Majesty, to exercise and administer, according to the laws 
and Constitution of this Kingdom, all regal powers, juris- 
diction, and prerogatives to the Crown and Government 
thereof belonging." 

On this occasion Mr. Fjtzgibbon reiterated his 
attacks, and declared that the address was not only 
highly improper, but treasonable in its nature ; and 
that such was the opinion of the Chancellor, the 
Chief Justice, and several other judges, and every 
lawyer whose approbation could give weight to 
an opinion. 

Such was the extravagant language Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon was in the habit of indulging in ; and Mr. 
Ponsonby very properly observed — 

" Whatever respect I may have for the right honourable 
gentleman's talents, I never relied much on his assertions, 
and as I never myself use assertions for arguments, I hope 
he will excuse me from believing his. He says he will be 
a bold man who will differ from the mode adopted in 
England. I hope, sir, we shall be bold, not too bold; bold 
in argument, modest in assertion." 

The address being laid before the Lord-lieute- 
nant, he replied — 

" That, under the impressions which 1 feel of my official 
duty, and of the oaths which I have taken as Chief 



Governor of Ireland, I am obliged to decline transmitting 
this address to Great Britain ; for I cannot consider myself 
warranted to lay before the Prince of Wales, an address, 
purporting to invest his Royal Highness with power to take 
upon him the Government of this realm, before he shall be 
enabled by law so to do." 

This answer excited much displeasure ; and Mr. 
Grattan moved that the House be adjourned. 
The next day the answer was entered on the Jour- 
nals, and Mr. Grattan stated that some resolutions 
were necessary to maintain the dignity and privi- 
leges of Parliament ; that their conduct, in any 
controversy with the Chief Governor, should be 
respectful to him, though he had maligned their 
proceedings ; it should be founded in law and the 
Constitution. He moved— 

"That, in addressing his Royal Highness the Prince of 
Wales, to take upon himself the Government of this coun- 
try, on the behalf, and in the name of his Majesty, during 
his Majesty's present indisposition, and no longer, the 
Lords and Commons of Ireland have exercised an un- 
doubted right, and discharged an indispensable duty to 
which, in the present emergency, they alone are com- 

* Mr. Gifford, in his Life of Pitt, vol. ii. p. 14, says : "Mr. Grattan, 
elated by the majority he had obtained, moved, that the two Houses of 
Parliament had discharged an indispensable duty in providing for the 
third estate of the Irish constitution." He then animadverts very 
severely upon his conduct, and that of Mr. Ponsonby and Mr. Curran, 
accusing them of " being unacquainted with the Bill of Rights, standing 
in need of constitutional information, and of rendering the ignorance of 


Mr. Fitzgibbon, now grown bolder, reiterated 
his attack, calling the motion insanity, and a 
desperate speculation of Mr. Grattan. On this 
occasion he went further ; he introduced the sub- 
ject of Church and State, the Act of Settlement, 
the Rebellion of 1641, and spoke as it were the 
prologue to the scenes which were afterwards 
acted in the melancholy Irish tragedy, in which 
he performed so conspicuous a part. 

The resolution was carried, and Mr. Grattan then 
proposed that Mr. Conolly, John O'Neil, William 
Brabazon Ponsonby, and James Stewart, should 
accompany the Duke of Leinster and Lord 
Charlemont, (who were appointed by the House 
of Lords,) to present the address to the Prince of 

This being agreed to, Mr. Grattan next pro- 
posed a resolution, asserting the privileges of the 
House of Commons, and censuring the conduct of 
the Lord-lieutenant : — 

"That his Excellency the Lord-lieutenant's answer to 
both Houses of Parliament, requesting him to transmit 
their address to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, is 
ill-advised, contains an unwarrantable and unconstitutional 

the Irish Parliament a matter of record," by proposing so absurd a reso- 
lution. After such a fulmination, the reader will be surprised to find that 
no such resolution as Mr. Gifford states, was proposed by Mr. Grattan 
or passed by the Irish House of Commons. This appears on reference to 
the debates and the Commons' Journals. But it suited the times for 
which, and in which Mr. Gifford wrote, 1808 and 1809, to raise a cry 
against the Irish. Mr. Perceval's " No Popery" cry was then predo- 

B B 2 


censure on the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament 
and attempts to question the undoubted rights and privi- 
leges of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and of the Com- 
mons of Ireland." 

This resolution was carried by 115 to 83. 

It was the intention of the Prince to turn out 
Mr. Pitt, and bring into power his own friends.* 
Lord Spencer and Mr. Pelham (afterwards Lord 
Chichester) were the individuals selected to be 
Viceroy and Secretary in Ireland. 


Stratton Street, Feb. 19, 1789. 
Dear Sir, 6 o'clock, p.m. 

The House of Lords have adjourned the consideration of 
the Regency Bill until Tuesday next, upon a motion made 
by the Chancellor,f who stated that the reports of the 
King's health were so favourable as to warrant the ad- 
journment. I can assure you, however, from the best 
authority, that the physicians have never seen the King 
alone. Willis refused Warren, who asked to see him 

The Prince and the Duke of York were at Kew 
yesterday, and were refused admission to the King. The 
Chancellor was there on Tuesday; his opinion is differently 
represented by different parties, and the truth is not to be 
discovered, beyond what is known from the physicians. 

* It was unfortunate he did not adhere to a similar determination in 
1812, at the period of the second regency. He then kept in his father's 
former ministers, men who had covered him with every species of indig- 
nity. By that step he lost all reputation for principle, gratitude, or 

f Lord Thurlow. 



Willis is of an opinion that the King cannot bear an 
examination, if he or his son are not present. 

We flatter ourselves that this delay, and an attempt to 
examine the physicians, which is expected, will lay open 
all the tricks and intrigues of Mr. Pitt's faction ; and I 
trust that our friends in Ireland, who have done themselves 
so much honour by their conduct, will not be dispirited by 
these intrigues. I have not time to express to you how 
strongly the Prince is affected by the confidence and 
attachment of the Irish Parliament. I saw him for an 
instant at Carlton House, and he ordered me to write to 
you ; but I have time only to say, in his own words, 
" Tell Grattan that I am a most determined 
Irishman !"* 

I beg leave to trouble you with my best compliments to 
Mrs. Grattan ; and am, with very sincere regard, ever 
yours, T. Pelham. 


London, Saturday, 2\st Feb. 1789. 

My Dear Sir, 
The opportunities your goodness to me but too frequently 
afforded you of observing the manner in which my time 
was occupied, will, I am sure, dispose you to forgive my 
delay in acknowledging the two very obliging and confi- 
dential lettersf I have had the pleasure of receiving from 
you since your return to Ireland. I beg leave most sin- 
cerely to congratulate with you on the decisive effect of 

* Unhappily for the Irish, this statement proved quite erroneous ; he 
resisted to the last the concession of the Roman Catholic claims, and 
when he came to Ireland in 1821, he brought in his train Lord Castle- 
reagh. The latter, however, seldom appeared in public, and respect for 
royalty alone prevented the people from giving vent to the expressions 
of their indignant and insulted feelings. 

f These letters have been sought for, but could not be procured. 

374 duke of Portland's letter, [chap. xii. 

your distinguished exertions. Your own country is sensi- 
ble and worthy of the part you have taken in defence and 
protection of her Constitution. The Prince thinks himself 
no less obliged to you; and whenever this deluded country 
becomes capable of distinguishing her true friends, she will 
contribute her quota of applause and gratitude ; and if 
the voice of an individual can be heard on such an occa- 
sion, mine would gladly be raised to its highest pitch, 
to celebrate the event in which you were so eminently 

Our friend, Mr. Pelham, acquainted you, and as many 
of our friends in Ireland as the time would admit, with the 
very unexpected adjournment of the Regency Bill on 
Thursday last ; so that it would have been unnecessary for 
me to have taken any notice of it. But, having learnt by 
letters from Ireland this morning, that it was the intention 
of our friends to defer the consideration of all public 
business till after the departure or removal of the present 
Lord-lieutenant, I think it incumbent upon me to inform 
you, that it is not from mere conjecture that I suggest to 
you the probability of another adjournment, which will 
retard the appointment of the Prince to the Regency to 
the middle or latter end of the week after next, viz. to the 
5th or 6th of March. Of little avail, except to the actual 
possessors of the salaries of office, this delay may be ; for, 
considering the duration and circumstances of the King's 
insanity, his recovery cannot and ought not to advance 
so rapidly, and must always be very precarious. It does 
not occur to me that it can be resisted by us ; and, there- 
fore, as the Prince will not be sooner authorised to direct 
the use of the great seal, and, consequently, Lord Spencer 
must be unavoidably detained here, it appeared to me too 
material an article of intelligence to withhold from you ; 
and I accordingly have taken the liberty of submitting it 

chap, xii.] mr. burke's letter. 


to your attention, in the hope of its being the means of 
preventing any uneasiness, jealousy, or distrust in the 
minds of those who may be interested in the proceedings 
of Parliament. 

I am, very sincerely, my dear Sir, 

Your most faithful and obedient 


It is no inconsiderable satisfaction to find that 
Mr. Grattan's conduct, in the management of the 
Regency question, should have received the praise 
of such a man as Edmund Burke, a person at- 
tached to limited monarchy, and careful to avoid 
all approach to principles of a revolutionary ten- 
dency. On the occasion of introducing to Mr. 
Grattan an American gentleman who came to 
Ireland, he alludes to the proceedings then going 
on, and seems gratified at the exertions of Mr. 
Grattan ; his attempting, as he expresses it, to 
draw good out of evil, and to avail himself of the 
opportunity to carry the measures of which he 
had given notice. He enlarges also on this in a 
letter to Lord Charlemont (29th March, 1789;, 
and adds — 

" I am charmed with what I have heard of the Duke of 
Leinster. I am happy to find him add a character of firm- 
ness to the rest of his truly amiable and respectable quali- 
ties. Ponsonby then is, it seems, the proto-martyr. I 
never saw him until the time of your embassy ; but I am 
not mistaken in the opinion I formed of him on our first 
conversation, as a manly, decided character, with a right 
conformation of mind, and a clear and vigorous understand- 
ing. The world will see what is got by leaving a provoked, 



[chap. XII. 

a powerful enemy ; and how well faith is kept by those 
whose situation has been obtained by their infidelity. One 
would have thought that personal experience was not 
necessary for teaching that lesson. As to what you have 
said of the care to be taken of the martyrs to their duty, 
this is a thing of course in case an opportunity occurs. 
They would not be injured so much as their leaders would 
be eternally disgraced, if they were not made their first 
objects." * f # 

" As to the politics of Ireland, I see nothing in them 
very pleasant. I do not wish to revive in your mind what 
your best philosophy is required to make tolerable. Enjoy 
your Marino and your amiable and excellent family ; these 
are comfortable sanctuaries when more extensive views of 
society are gloomy, or unpleasant, or unsafe." 

The following was his letter to Mr. Grattan : — 


March I9tk, 1789. 

My Dear Sir, 
I know how much it must please you to have an opportu- 
nity of being useful to young men, who wish to form them- 
selves on good models, and to profit by good examples.* 
Mr. Shippen, of Pennsylvania, is one of these; he has seen 
some part of the continent of Europe, and he now wishes, 

* Descended from the celebrated William Shippen, a strenuous Jaco- 
bite, and in parliament during the time of Sir Robert Walpole. The 
latter kept a list of those who were in communication with the Pretender* 
He had it one night in the House of Commons when Mr. Shippen was 
speaking very strongly against that party. Sir Robert Walpole got one 
of the members to show Mr. Shippen his name in the list of the Pre- 
tender's friends, and sarcastically observed, " He would have been the 
honestest man in England if lie had not taken the oath of allegiance" 
Pope, alluding to him, says : — 

" I love to pour out all myself, as plain 
As downright Shippen, or as old Montagne." 



in order to have a good relish in his mouth, to see Ireland 
and Mr. Grattan. It is with pleasure that I make myself 
the factor in this commerce between the Old and the New 
world. I assure you Mr. Shippen is worthy the attention 
your goodness may dispose you to show him. 

It is not in a small compass that I can express my ad- 
miration of the use you have made of drawing good out 
of evil. 

Make mine, and Mrs. Burke's, and my son's most 
respectful compliments to Mrs. Grattan, whom we are not 
singular enough not to admire ; not as much as she de- 
serves, but as we are capable of. 

I am, with the most sincere respect and affection, my 
dear sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

Edmund Burke. 

Pray present Mr. Shippen to my friend Mr. Forbes. 

After the resolution, asserting the rights and 
privileges of the Parliament of Ireland, had passed 
the House, the question as to supplies came on ; 
when Mr. Grattan proposed a short money bill, 
and that they should be voted to the 25th of May 
next, instead of to the 25th of March, 1790. This 
amendment was strongly supported by Mr. 
Brownlow, who contended that if the House 
passed the supplies for a year, the Marquess of 
Buckingham might do as Lord Townshend did, — 
prorogue Parliament, and protest against their 
proceedings. It was on this occasion Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon made use of those remarkable words, which 
were heard with such astonishment and indigna- 
tion, — that " he recollected Lord Townshend pro- 

378 mr. fitzgibbon's threats, [chap. XII. 

roguing the Parliament, and the House voting an 
address of thanks to him, which cost the nation 
half a million of money to procure the majority; 
he therefore would oppose the amendments, which 
might lead to an address, which would cost half a 
million more." 

This unblushing avowal of corruption on the 
part of Mr. Fitzgibbon was a plain intimation of 
what he intended to do. Mr. Grattan's proposi- 
tion was however carried by 105 to 85. The 
supplies were accordingly voted for two months, 
and the army was in a similar manner provided 
for only for the period of two months. This was 
carried by 102 to 77. 

Having thus secured the continuance of Parlia- 
ment, Mr. Grattan proceeded to submit to the 
House, on the 3d of March, the propositions 
which he had in view. The first was to reform 
the police, which had proved to be a great source 
of patronage and corruption to the Government, 
and which had extended its influence, without 
preserving the public peace. 

The next was a bill to limit the amount of pen- 
sions, and to disable any persons from sitting or 
voting in the House of Commons who had any 
pension during pleasure, or who held any office of 
place or profit, created after a certain time under 
the Crown. 

The next was a bill to secure the freedom of 
election by disabling revenue officers from voting. 



This was particularly necessary in Ireland, where, 
by a union of great family interests, boroughs had 
in fact become private property. 

Founded on this, Mr. Grattan proposed a reso- 
lution that recommendations for the purpose of 
granting the great offices of this kingdom, or the 
reversion of great offices, to absentees, are impro- 
vident and prejudicial, especially now, as great 
annual charges have been incurred by making- 
compensation to absentees for resigning their 
offices, that they might be granted to residents. 

This principle had been long resisted by pre- 
ceding Governments, and was one of the chief 
grounds of opposition on the part of Mr. Grattan, 
to the Marquess of Buckingham's administration. 
He had granted a pension of 1,700/ a-year to 
Mr. Orde, an absentee ; he had given the reversion 
of the office of Chief Remembrancer to his brother, 
Mr. Grenville, another absentee. He thus violated 
the principle that had been so long contended for, 
and in particular by Mr. Flood, and for which 
Ireland had paid so much, in the case of Gerard 
Hamilton, when they strove to bring home the 
offices held by individuals who did not reside in 
the kingdom. 

This question tried the virtue and consistency 
of the House. His Majesty's health was now 
nearly restored. On the 2nd of March, the news 
of his recovery arrived in Dublin; and the bond 
which kept the party together was thereby greatly 



weakened. Some men, who had joined the stan- 
dard of opposition, now deserted it ; and Mr. 
Grattan was on this question left in a minority of 
9 ; the numbers on a motion that the House do 
adjourn being 115 to 106. The ensuing day, 
however, he got leave to bring in the Revenue 
Officers Bill ; and the Pension Bill was, on the 
9th of March, read a second time ; — and so far the 
popular party made some useful progress. 

During this crisis, Mr. Grattan acted with that 
promptness and decision, which marked his cha- 
racter, which he had adopted in 1782, and which 
he afterwards pursued in 1795. In the first he 
succeeded, and in the two last he failed ; but this 
failure arose from circumstances over which he 
had no control, and which are to be ascribed to 
accident, and not to him. Some of the measures 
were subsequently carried ; but as in the case of 
the Place Bill, they were mutilated and consider- 
ably impaired. 

The termination of these proceedings respecting 
the Prince, are well known. His Majesty having 
recovered about the period when the delegates 
proceeded to London with the address, they re- 
ceived from his Royal Highness the following 
answer, which was communicated to the Houses 
of Parliament. 

London, Feb. 27th, 1789. 
u My Lords and Gentlemen, 
" The address from the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and 



Commons of Ireland, which you have presented to me, 
demands my warmest and earliest thanks. 

u If any thing could add to the esteem and affection I 
have for the people of Ireland, it would be the loyal and 
affectionate attachment to the person and government of 
the King my father, manifested in the address of the two 

" What they have done, and their manner of doing it, is a 
new proof of their undiminished duty to his Majesty ; of 
their uniform attachment to the House of Brunswick, and 
of their constant care and attention to maintain invio- 
late the concord and connection between the kingdoms of 
Great Britain and Ireland, so indispensably necessary to 
the prosperity, the happiness, and liberties of both. 

'* If, in conveying my grateful sentiments on their con- 
duct in relation to the King my father, and to the inse- 
parable interests of the two kingdoms, I find it impossible 
adequately to express my feelings on what relates to my- 
self ; I trust you will not be the less disposed to believe 
that I have an understanding to comprehend the value of 
what they have done; a heart that must remember, and 
principles that will not suffer me to abuse their confidence.* 

u But the fortunate change which has taken place in the 

* The Irish had a better memory than his Royal Highness; and when 
he came to Ireland in 1821, several songs were composed on the occa- 
sion. One of them, supposed to have been written by Mr. Moore, 
seems to allude to this period : — 

" You told us this — you told us that, 
Oh, wira strue — oh, wira strue ! 
How long you'd be a friend to Pat. 

Oh, wira strue : wira strue ! 
And oh, you told us not to fret, 
And said you'd make us happy yet, — 
Remember that you don't forget. 
Oh, wira, wira strue !" 


circumstances which gave occasion to the address, agreed 
to by the Lords and Commons of Ireland, induces me for 
a few days to delay giving a final answer; trusting that the 
joyful event of his Majesty's resuming the personal exer- 
cise of his Royal authority, may render it only necessary 
for me to repeat those sentiments of gratitude and affection 
for the loyal and generous people of Ireland, which I feel 
indelibly imprinted on my heart." 

After the vote of censure passed on the Lord- 
lieutenant, it was not possible that he could any- 
longer hold the reins of government, whether 
the Prince assumed the Regency or not. But 
prior to the departure of the delegates, every 
effort was made by the Marquess of Buckingham 
to thwart the opposition. Those who had places 
were to be deprived of them ; those who had 
none were to be rewarded. Every threat was 
used ; every lure was held out. 

Such was the violence of Mr. Fitzgibbon and 
his party, who in these debates had discovered 
such a want of temper* and of principle, accom- 
panied by a recklessness of manner and violent 
personal hostility, plainly indicating their deter- 
mination to keep no terms with their opponents. 
Accordingly, they threatened to make every man 
the " victim of his vote," and to proscribe at once 
the entire of the opposition. By this they drove 
their opponents into measures of self-defence, and 

* At a dinner at the Castle of Dublin on the 2nd of March, 1789, the 
health of the King, and of " Mr. Pitt the friend of Ireland" was given 
and drunk with three-times-ihree, and the Prince of Wales's excluded. 



gave birth to what was then popularly termed, 
the "Round Robin' — a very decisive measure 
certainly, but one that proved insufficient to 
protect the interests either of the party or the 

We, the undernamed, having, on the question of the 
Regency, dissented from the mode of proceeding recom- 
mended by the Marquess of Buckingham, and having 
acted agreeably to the rights and sense of Parliament, 
and to the duty and confidence which we owe to His 
Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and the rest of the 
Royal Family, do make the following engagement ; that is 
to say : — 

That if any one of the subscribing persons shall, in 
consequence of his conduct upon that question, or upon 
the measures necessary to be taken in consequence thereof, 
be deprived of his office or pension, or shall be made, as 
has been threatened, " the victim of his vote" we agree 
that we will not accept of such office or pension for our- 
selves or any other person, and that we will consider such 
deprivation, dismissal, or the rendering any individual 
u the victim of his vote 1 upon that occasion, as a reproba- 
tion of our constitutional conduct, and an attack upon 
public principle, and the independence of Parliament ; 
and that any administration taking, or persevering in any 
such steps, is not entitled to our confidence, and shall not 
receive our support. 

Leinster. ~1 February 22, 1789. 

Thomas Conolly. 
John O'Neil. 
James Stewart. 
Wm. Brabazon Ponsonby.^ 

Signed, by authority of the 
Lords and Gentlemen, 
by me, 

George Ponsonby. 




H. Langrishe. 


Robert Langrishe. 


F. Hardy. 


F. Blaquiere. 


Arthur Browne. 


James CufTe. 


G. P. Bushe. 

Henry Fitzgerald. 

Robert Day. 

Anthony Daly. 

Thomas Bligh. 

Henry Hatton. 

Charles Francis Sheridan. 

Annesley Stewart. 

Andrew Caldwell. 

Edward Newenham. 

J. Doyle. 

Travers Hartley. 

W. Qpilvy. 

Richard Griffith. 

Godfrey Green. 


John Forbes. 


Simon Digby. 


Den. Bow. Daly. 

T. D. Tuam, A.B. 





George Ogle. 


Arthur Dawson. 


Skeffington Smyth. 

John P. Curran. 

Henry Grattan. 

Edward Crofton. 


Thomas Burgh. 

* This document, popularly called the " Round Robin, 1 ' had no title 
to such appellation ; and though Sir Jonah Barrington has printed it in 
that form, he was mistaken, and he also omits several names, among 
others a very important one, — that of John Forbes. In reference to this, 
Mr. GifFord, in his Life of Pitt, vol. iv. p. 211, makes a most extraordi- 
nary statement : he says, " This deed was drawn up on parchment, and 
the parties, at the time they signed, confirmed it by an oath." Nothing 
can be more unfounded. The document in question I have in my pos- 
session. It is not circular, nor signed so ; it is in the handwriting of 
Mr. Day, and corrected by Mr. Grattan. No attestation was subjoined, 


When this document became known, Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon lost no time in attacking it; and some 
occasion presenting itself, he inveighed against 
the individuals who had signed it in the following 
terms : — 

u I have heard reports, which I cannot, nor will be- 
lieve, but which I will mention, to give opportunity for 
clearing gentlemen from such vile imputations. I have 
heard that the spirit of Whiteboyism has found its way into 
this city, and that injurious and dishonest combinations 
have taken place. I do not now speak of the combinations of 
the journeymen pinmakers, who have suffered in Newgate 
for their offences ; I speak of other combinations, which, 
had they been entered into against a tithe-proctor, the 
combining parties, by laws of their own making, would be 
condemned to be whipped at a cart's tail; and therefore 
I sav I cannot, nor will believe it possible, for any such 
combinations to exist. I cannot believe that any set of 
men could be so far the tools of faction as to enter into a 
combination for which, by laws of their own making, a 
miserable Whiteboy would be whipped at a carfs tail." 

Such was the style in which Mr. Fitzgibbon 
spoke of the individuals who had signed this de- 
claration. He saw at once that it was likely to 
prove injurious to his objects and his interests; 

or ever took place. I received the original from Mr. Grattan himself, 
who often spoke on the subject. So much for the accuracy of Mr. Gif- 
ford, who concludes a most unjust and virulent attack upon Provost 
Hutchinson, by saying that which may be justly retorted upon himself : 
" He cannot escape the scrutinizing eye of history, nor elude the honest 
judgment of posterity." Mr. Gifford's attack was unwarranted, and his 
allegation was unfounded, like many of a similar kind, which he and 
other writers make with regard to the people of Ireland. 

386 mr. fttzgibbon's amnesty, [chap. XII. 

and that, accompanied with a resolution of the 
House of Commons against the Marquess of Buck- 
ingham, it would be still more difficult for him to 
carry on the Government. He found that his 
violence had no effect upon the opposite party : 
it could not force them to swerve from the course 
they had adopted, or induce them to abandon any 
of the popular measures which they were anxious 
to carry : he therefore thought it better to try and 
effect a compromise. He resorted to the arts of 
diplomacy, and opened a negotiation with the 
leaders of the opposite party. An amnesty, as it 
was called, was offered to them under certain 
terms ; but the great and leading connections of 
the party refused to coalesce with the Marquess of 
Buckingham. They were told that there should 
be a cessation of hostility ; that they might re- 
main in, or return to office, if they would give the 
Government support, and all previous proceedings 
should be buried in oblivion, and every person 
should be considered as if no such matter had 
taken place. The Attorney-general in particular 
urged Mr. George Ponsonby strongly to yield ; — 
that on personal as well as public grounds it was 
most advisable for him, as it would secure him 
promotion in his profession. Much to his honour, 
Mr. Ponsonby refused. 

The country gentlemen and the leading mem- 
bers of the popular party were willing to abate 
their opposition on the stipulations of economy, 



and the carrying some of their measures ; and a 
meeting on the subject was held at Mr. Hut- 
chinson's, (the provost,) a memorandum of which 
appears to have been taken at the time by Mr. 
Forbes, and was found among Mr. Grattan's 

"Grattan's Lodgings, 6 o'clock, Tuesday, 3Iarch24, 1789. 

"He and I have put down and compared what we 
recollect to have been the sense of the meeting at the 
Provost's respecting the expense likely to be incurred by 
Government in consequence of an amnesty offered by the 
Attorney-general : — viz. 

" That the persons composing the meeting would 
oppose new places — creation of new boards — revival, or 
division of old ones, or great salaries to be annexed to 
small offices, or any other considerable expense to be 
incurred to make good engagements made in consequence 
of the late proceedings in Parliament." 

As a written reply was sought for in order that 
it might be transmitted to the British Cabinet, 
Mr. Wm. Ponsonby wrote down the answer; 
viz. — '* I intend to support the usual supplies, 
and his Majesty's Government in this country, 
but I will not enter into any communication with 
Lord Buckingham." 

As soon as this answer was forwarded to Go- 
vernment, the party were immediately turned out 
of office ! 

Thus was the sincerity of Mr. Fitzgibbon's 
offer put to the test, and the stipulation for 
economy proposed by the country gentlemen was- 

c c 2 


rejected by the Government. This document 
is fortunately extant, and fully justifies the pro- 
ceedings which Mr. Ponsonby, Mr. Grattan, and 
their party took on the occasion. Had the Go- 
vernment meant fair towards the country, they 
would have accepted the offer of economy; but 
the Marquess of Buckingham and Mr. Fitzgibbon 
had gone such lengths in support of Mr. Pitt on 
the Regency question, — had contracted such 
engagements, and made such promises, that in 
justice to their party they could not recede 
without breach of faith. Hence arose the diffi- 
culty, or the indifference, which Mr. Pitt felt in 
checking the career of the Government ; he gave 
it up wholly to Mr. Fitzgibbon, and thus carried 
into execution the threat of his Minister, to 
resort to the half million to corrupt the Par- 

Alluding to this threat, Mr. Grattan, in his 
remarks on the conduct of the Government (in 
1798), says,— 

f It is in vain to equivocate ; the words were uttered : 
the Minister may have forgotten, but the people remember 
them, and several of us were witnesses to them ; nor was 
it merely the Minister's expression, — it was his sentiment 
— it was his measure. The threat was put into the 
fullest execution ; the canvass of the Ministry was every- 
where, — in the House of Commons, in the lobby, in the 
street, at the door of the parliamentary undertakers, 
rapped at and worn by the little caitiffs of Government, 
who offered amnesty to some, honours to others, and cor- 



ruplion to all ; and where the word of the Viceroy was 
doubted, they offered their own. Accordingly we find a 
number of parliamentary provisions were created, and 
divers peerages sold with such effect, that the same Par- 
liament who had voted the chief governor a criminal, did 
immediately after give that very Governor implicit sup- 
port; and the subsequent Parliament did, under the same 
influence — on the catholic question — on the pension ques- 
tion — on the place question, vote and unvote, and turn 
and change, according to the orders of Government, w T ith 
a versatility that made an indignant public cry shame 
upon them ! This policy was an attack on the moral as 
well as on the constitutional system, and guaranteed 
political slavery by moral prostitution ; proposing that the 
gentlemen of Parliament should be systematically robbers, 
in order that the people should be systematically slaves : 
it was a condition on which no freedom, no government, 
no religion, no connexion, no throne, could long rest." # 

These were not casual words, nor was this an 
idle threat : it was put into execution and realized 
to the letter ; the opposition, their friends and ad- 
herents, were all turned out of office ; even Mr. 
Bushe, the Commissioner appointed by their own 
party, was dismissed with the rest. 

The dismissals were : — 
Earl of Shannon, — Vice Treasurer. 
Duke of Leinster, — Master of the Rolls. 
William Ponsonby, — Post Master General. 
George Ponsonby, — Counsel to the Commissioners. 
Lodcre Morris, — Treasurer of Post Office and Clerk of 

* See the declaration and petition to the king, from his Irish subjects, 
Grattan's Miscellaneous Works, p. 79. 



Charles Francis Sheridan,-— -Secretary at War. 
William Burton, — Paymaster of Foreign Regiments. 
John Staples, — A Pension and reversion of Examinator of 

John Townsend, — Barrack Master. 
James Uniacke, — Comptroller of Stamps. 
H. Hatton, — Comptroller of Youghall. 
Colonel Pigott, — Governor of Cork. 
Dennis Bowes Daly, — Ranger of the Curragh. 
Edward King,— -Comptroller of the Port of Dublin. 
Sir Skeffington Smith, — A Pension. 
The value of their offices amounted to near 20,000Z. a-year 
The promotions were as follows : — ■ 
Fitzgibbon, appointed Lord Chancellor.* 
Wolfe, — -Attorney-General. 
Toler, — Solicitor-General. 
Boyd, — First Counsel to the Commissioners. 
Edward Cooke, — Secretary at War.f 
Corry,— Commissioner of Revenue. 
Pakenham, — Surveyor of Ordnance. 
S. Moore, — Treasurer to the Post Office. 
Molyneux, — Comptroller of Stamp Duties. 
Beresford, — Purse-bearer to the Chancellor. 
D. Trant, — Advocate to the Admiralty. 

Edward Fitzgerald, 

* Created Earl of Clare in 1792. Lord Lifford, his predecessor, died 
in July 1789. 

f Afterward secretary to Lord Castlereagh in 1799. 

C. H. Coote, 
John Reilly, 
Richard Neville, 
S. Hayes, 
R. Holmes, 
R. T. Herbert, 


-Commissioners of Stamps. 

Commissioners of Imprest Ac- 



Lord Bellainont, 

' it Post Masters General, 

| Joini 

Lord Loftus, 
R. Johnston, — Third Sergeant at Law. 

The following were the promotions which took 
place in the Peerage : — 
The Earl of Antrim, created Marquis of Antrim. 
The Earl of Tyrone, „ „ of Waterford. 

The Earl of Hillsborough, „ of Downshire. 
The Viscount Glerawley, Earl of Annesley. 
The Viscount Enniskillen, „ of Enniskillen. 
The Viscount Erne, „ of Erne. 

The Viscount Carysfort, of Carysfort. 

Lord Earlsfort, Viscount Clonmel. 
Lord Loftus, „ Loftus. 

Mr. Fitzgibbon, created Baron Fitzgibbon. 
Mr. Stewart, „ „ Londonderry. 

Sir John Brown, „ „ Kilmaine. # 

Sir Nicholas Lawless, „ Cloncurry.* 
Mr. L. Gardiner, „ „ Mountjoy. 

William Cecil Pery, „ Glentworth. # 

Mr. Alexander, „ „ Caledon. 

But the new Government were not yet satisfied: 
they went further ; they revived dormant employ- 
ments ; they increased the Revenue Board, and 
the Ordnance Board, and appointed two additional 
Commissioners ; they divided the Boards of 
Stamps and Accounts ; they increased their sala- 
ries ; they gave two members of Parliament places 
at the Board of Stamps ; they augmented the 

* The three peerages that Mr. Grattan and Mr. Ponsonby offered to 
prove had been sold, and the money laid out for the purchase of mem- 
bers in the House of Commons. 


pension list, by 13,000/. a-year, and imposed upon 
the nation an additional perpetuity of 2,800/.* 

Soon after, they divided the office of Weigh- 
master of Butter in Cork, into three parts ; the 
duty of which was performed by deputies, at 
about 200/. each,— and the principals, who got 
the gross amount, had seats in Parliament. This 
drew from Mr. George Ponsonby the remark in 
one of his speeches, that there were 110 place- 
men in the House, and that of the gross revenue 
of the country, one-eighth was divided among 
members of Parliament. 

In reference to these disgraceful acts, how truly 
did Mr. Grattan observe : "In a free country, 
the path of public treachery leads to the block ; 
but in a nation governed like a province, to the 
helm !" 

Such was the Government of Ireland; and who 
can wonder that discontent was the result, and 
that indignation filled every honest bosom when 
the noble institution of Parliament was thus turned 
to the vilest of purposes. A long period of mild 
Government, moderate in language as in manner, 
will be required to efface the painful recollection 
of the past. Nations possess wonderful memories. 
The courtier will lack the effrontery necessary to 
scoff at public virtue, and his tongue will cleave to 
the roof of his mouth, inadequate to the task even 
of palliating such political prostitution. 

* See Appendix, No. 7. 



Character of Mr. Fitzgibbon— Question of tithes again brought forward 
by Mr. Grattan— Extracts of his speech— Proposes a composition for 
the Protestant clergy— Rejected— Publications against Mr. Grattan— 
Fate of the question— Treatment of the Protestant church by the 
Imperial parliament— Proceedings of Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Pitt- 
Departure of the Marquess of Buckingham— Speech of Mr. Curran— 
His character. 

Having, in this and in the preceding volumes, 
given a sketch of the conduct of Mr. Fitzgibbon, 
and the part he took upon the essential questions 
connected with his country, it will not be amiss to 
insert here a summary of his character and his 
life before and after he obtained the seals of 
office. Unquestionably he was a clever man, but 
his understanding was not a sound one; it was 
quick, and his mind was acute, but it was ex- 
tremely limited in its range. He had only two or 
three ideas — no more. He possessed real ability 
in some things, but little general talent. He was 
a vigorous plebeian lawyer, always ready, and in 
general speaking well. He saw a point quickly, 
and stated it clearly and without hesitation. He 
was a zealous partisan, and well suited for party 
purposes ; had a good strong voice and a bold 
manner ; and as far as he went, (which was not 



very far,) he was an able man, and knew well 
what he was about. In debate he was good ; not 
learned, but impassioned ; he always felt what he 
spoke, which in popular speaking is half the 
battle. He was violent in personal attack ; he 
never spared your character ; he would your per- 
son. In council he was hot, but his decision was 
not the result of thinking, as in other men ; he 
decided first and thought after ; it was not the 
result of reasoning, as in other men, but of 
passion. In his decisions he was prejudiced, and 
biassed by his feelings, which in their nature 
were hot, angry, and vindictive. He was rapid 
in his statement of facts, and never sought for 
finery; he never fell in love with his own sen- 
tences, — that was his merit. He went right on to 
his object, and so far he was eloquent ; but he 
was a narrow-minded man, devoid of a single 
great principle, and displaying none of that great- 
ness which is to be found among the speeches of 
old times, — none of the noble sentiments that 
adorn those of Cicero or Demosthenes. His 
speeches in 1793 on the Catholics, in 1797 on 
the state of Ireland, and 1800 on the Union, will 
not be read for style, or language, or principle. 
They were composed of pert and saucy sen- 
tences, with some talent interspersed, but no 
principle ; and the former so inferior, that it does 
not make up for the want of the latter. They are 
the production of a party termagant, struggling on 



behalf of another country against the liberties of 
his own. 

Mr. Fitzgibbon made a bad commencement, for 
a young man. In 1780 he spoke against the 
declaration of Irish rights proposed by Mr. Grat- 
tan. He attacked the Volunteers, as well as the 
Government for having allowed them to get to such 
a head. There were three points in his speech : — 
he denied the right of the British Parliament to 
legislate for Ireland ; he said the Volunteers 
were wrong to oppose that right, and the Go- 
vernment still more wrong for permitting them : 
he called them "a torpid Ministry"* He spoke 
well on this occasion, — very ably and bitterly. 
He afforded a strong contrast to Hussey Burgh. 
The latter was an Irishman ; — the former, neither 
English nor Irish ; but he knew that England was 
the seat of influence, and he wished to continue 
the dependency. He did not perceive that the 
liberty of his country raised, instead of depressing 
him. The defeat of his principles was his eleva- 
tion ; their success was his downfall. He opposed 
the rights of Ireland, and it was owing to their 
establishment that he became Chancellor. When, 
at the Union, his political principles succeeded, he 
became nothing. 

Fitzgibbon is a signal instance of the folly of 
being a dishonest man. 

If compared to his friend and ally, Scott, (Lord 

* The ministry of Lord Buckinghamshire, 1779-80. 



Clonmel,) it might be said that Lord Clare 
would have made a better attack on an opponent, 
— not so comical, but more offensive ; for he pos- 
sessed the art of adding odium to what was 
odious already, and thus he united all parties 
against him. The difference between these two 
men was, that Lord Clare's talents would have 
advanced him at the bar, — Lord Clonmel's would 
not. Their characters so far agreed, that they 
both hated their country. 

Fitzgibbon possibly would have been a good 
man, if he had not been a politician. Personally, 
he was not a disagreeable man. He possessed 
shrewdness and point in conversation,* and was 
not a bad flatterer. Still his society was not 
attractive : he offered a bad model, — was severe 
and sarcastic. It was impossible, in his company, 
not to learn some aberration from virtue. He 
spoiled the young men of the day ; he vulgarized 
them, rendered them low in principle, bad in 
manners, impudent, and affected. He not only 
injured society, but did much disservice to the 
House of Commons. He headed a vile party — 
arrogant, shallow, and superficial, needy law- 
yers, of a few hundred pounds a-year — trading 
adventurers, who were ready to sell the House 

* The only jew d 'sprit reported of him was the following: — 
" When the Chief Baron (Yelverton) at the time of the King's illness 
went over to London, his companions were Curran,|Egan, andJR,. Bar- 
ret ; on which Fitzgibbon remarked that he travelled like a mountebank, 
with a monkey, a bear, and a slight-of-hand man." 



and the country. In former times,- in those of 
Malone and Pery, — there was dignity, gravity, and 
decorum in that assembly ; a noble character 
at that time pervaded it: but this, Fitzgibbon 
altered. He introduced pert, boyish ways, * 
that were readily imitated, and did much in- 

In this respect, however, Fitzgibbon did not 
stand alone ; Beresford assisted him. Beresford 
was a good man in private ; but he got on by taking 
the part of England in every question in which Ire- 
land was concerned, and in consequence he was 
chosen Minister, — to maintain English interest, 
(as it was then called,) that is, Irish dependence. 
To do this at the expense of character, was 
a bad, but a sure game. Both these indivi- 
duals were selected for it, and were always pre- 
pared to play their part — the part of England 
against Ireland. 

Fitzgibbon showed the most abandoned pro- 
fligacy and the most abject servility to the Court, 
and the utmost abhorrence to the liberties of 
the people. He was one of the few men who 
really hated his country. He displayed an unna- 
tural disposition towards her, hating her liberties, 

* Flood used to say of him: "In England or in any great country, 
his abilities would not be known, but here he has just talent fit for pro- 
vincial mischief." And in his quaint, expressive manner, Curran de- 
scribed him as " cruel by nature, a hypocrite by nature, a tyrant by 
nature, and a slave by nature, for these go hand in hand, and despotism 
pays its rent upon her knees." 



hating even her people. If this is going a 
little too far, it is but a very little indeed ; for 
if he did not hate the liberties of his country, he 
did not love them ; and he did not love the 
people ; and the man who does not love a people, 
cannot love their liberties. In fact, Fitzgibbon 
derided liberty. He used to say, that, as far 
as regarded the constitution, he did not know 
what it meant, — that there was no other con- 
stitution but the law, and that the law was 
the constitution of the realm.* He did more mis- 
chief to Ireland than any other man ; he drove 
the people before him ; his measures tended to 
force them either to slavery or revolt, f He 
bribed the House ; he bribed the bar ; he dra- 
gooned the people. The system on which he 
acted was corruption, and he traded on the 
depreciation of his country. Other men make 
a traffic of particular questions, but he brought 
the fame and fortunes of his country to market. 
He was not only vicious, but criminal. Yet 
he was upheld ; for crimes and vices have their 
popularity, though fortunately it is only among 
the wicked and the weak. 

On the question of the commercial propositions 

* Lord Lansdowne said the same in the Lords, and the words were 
taken up by Mr. Burke, who moved resolutions in the House of Commons 
on that declaration. 

f What can be said of free quarters ; flogging, torturing, half-hang- 
ing, pitch-caps, and triangles, all which he permitted, and some almost 
within hearing of his house. 



in 1785, Fitzgibbon made an attack on the Irish, 
contrasting them with the English, and saying, 
" they were easily raised and easily put down." 
This drew from Mr. Curran a severe reply, which 
led to a duel, that terminated, as far as Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon's honour was concerned, in a very singular 

The course Fitzgibbon took at the Regency in 
1789 secured for him the seals and a peerage. 
He took part with Mr. Pitt, and was faithful to 
him during that very critical period, when it was 
thought the King's party were to go out of office, 
and when His Majesty's recovery was despaired 
of. He risked all, and certainly deserved to be 
rewarded. In consequence, he was appointed 

In 1790 he took the part of the corporation 
of Dublin against the people. The law which 
provided for the election of the Lord Mayor par- 
took of the character of the regulations that mo- 
delled the Irish corporations in the time of Charles 
II., and were arbitrary and exclusive. The law 
in question was a bad one ; it had been brought 
in by Mr. Grattan's father (the Recorder). In 
this matter Lord Clare did the very thing he 
should have avoided ; he became a city factioneer 
against the people, and took up the cause of 
the corporation when he should not have per- 
mitted the Government to have been defended by 




such a body. But upon instructions coming from 
England, the Government yielded. 

This subject was the first which made the 
breach between Lord Clare and Mr. Grattan. 
The Whig Club, as will presently appear, took 
part with the Commons. They had a meet- 
ing, at which Lord Charlemont presided, and 
spoke in their favour, and the Whig Club passed 
some resolutions on the subject. Lord Clare 
took notice of their proceedings in the House, 
and of the conduct of the Duke of Leinster, of 
Lord Charlemont, and Lord Moira, and attacked 
the Whig Club. Lord Charlemont, who was 
always so nervous that he could scarcely make 
a common motion in the house, did not reply ; 
but Lord Moira did, and replied well. Mr. 
Grattan then took up their defence, and wrote 
a very severe answer. As he was until that time 
on good terms with Lord Clare, perhaps it was 
not kind of him, in a personal point of view, to do 
so ; and Lord Clare was greatly offended at it — 
so much, that he never spoke to him afterwards, 
except on one occasion, when Lord Fitzwilliam 
came into power in 1795. But it must be said 
for Mr. Grattan, that Lord Clare had proceeded 
to extremes, and was adopting a course of mea- 
sures that no man ought to support, and no 
people could endure ; and Mr Grattan was there- 
fore excusable, inasmuch as public duty should not 
give way to private friendship. 



When Mr. Fitzgibbon made a concession, he 
always took care to accompany it with a graceless 
manner, that destroyed its intention and effect 
altogether : for instance, in the Convention Bill 
in 1793, he said the people should retain the 
right of petition, at the very moment that he 
took it away. He introduced a proviso that pro- 
fessed to preserve it, but rendered the act so 
complicated as to form a provision for litigation, 
rather than a security for the people. He intro- 
duced another bill to regulate the trade of the 
country,* and inserted a clause whereby he pre- 
vented Ireland from importing teas and other 
goods from the East, except under duties as 
high as those imposed in England. Thus he 
insulted the people at the very moment that he 
oppressed them. It cannot, however, be said that 
he thirsted for their blood; — he was not san- 
guinary in 1798 ; — that was left for Bishop Agar, 
Foster, and Toler.f 

After having done the bad work for the British 
Minister at the Union, in extinguishing the con- 
stitution of his country, Lord Clare went to 
England; but instead of reward, he was received, 

* 33 Geo. III. ch. 31. 

f It was reported that he had gone with great parade to witness the 
execution of Dr. Esmonde, in June, 1798 ; but other accounts state that 
on his returning from the four courts he met the procession on its way, 
and that he was delayed in consequence of the crowd, and was not able 
to pass. This seems a more probable and more charitable version of the 





as Milton describes the Devil in Pandemonium, — 
with a general hiss. He had no weight whatever. 
Lord Carnarvon, a poor creature, "pinioned" him 
in the House. He was disappointed ; he found 
himself nothing ; he was overlooked, mortified, 
and humiliated. He returned home, and even 
there he found himself supplanted. He was 
passed over, and in a most contemptuous manner, 
by a little secretary (Mr. Abbott), who actually 
nominated to the office of King's Counsel, without 
even consulting him. On one occasion, a person 
applied to get his sanction to the appointment to 
his office. Lord Clare, who was ill, expressed 
his surprise, asking, <e Why he came to him? 
— that he was ignorant of his appointment ;— that 
he had not heard anything of it ; — that he had not 
even been consulted."* 

This was a very great insult, and he felt it; 
and if he had been a man of spirit, he would 
have resigned. He at one time nattered himself 
with the hopes of getting the management of 
Ireland, as Mr. Dundas had of Scotland. But 
he had been deceived ; he was misled by the 
attention which the King had paid him. He 
became an English peer, but was not in the con- 
fidence of his party ; and Mr. Pitt even concealed 
from him his intention of supporting the Catholics 
after the Union. When Lord Clare heard it, he 
was astonished. Thus he found himself duped 

* His nephew, Jeffreys, had instituted a suit in the Court of Chan- 




and deceived by the very man who had employed 
him in all his desperate and deadly undertakings. 

Fitzgibbon was a flatterer of England, and to 
that country he sold his satire. But it did not 
succeed there ; for though the English liked the 
practice, they did not like to hear it praised; they 
did not like to hear the people abused, or to hear 
torture defended ; it was uncongenial to the prin- 
ciple that constituted their greatness. Even the 
man who had employed him to do this vile work 
could not relish the abuse he poured forth upon 
his country ; and when Mr. Pitt heard him in the 
House of Lords,* dealing out his sweeping cen- 
sures upon Ireland, uttering very violent principles 
in a very violent and intemperate manner, he 
listened for some time ; at length, turning to Mr. 
Wilberforce, who was standing next to him, he 
exclaimed, " Good God! Did you ever hear in all 
your life so great a rascal as that ?" 

eery respecting his estate, of which Lord Clare was trustee, and which 
he had bought. Lord Chancellor Manners (in 1817) set aside the sale 
and decreed the estate to Jeffreys. It was, however, admitted that it had 
been sold for its full value. Jeffreys made a violent speech, abusing 
his uncle. The Chancellor in vain tried to stop him. When Jeffreys 
came out of court he openly addressed some of the lawyers in the hall, 
and said that his uncle had never done a single act that procured him 
the esteem or thanks of his countrymen. " J," exclaimed he, " opposed 
him on the Union. I have a piece of plate voted to me for the part I 
then took, and I afterwards saw Lord Clare die, repenting of his conduct 
on that very question."" 

* Stated by Mr. Wilberforce to Mr. North, who related the anecdote. 

Mr. Pitt said something nearly similar of Lord Thurlow, at the 
period of the Regency. — See WraxalVs Memoirs. 




When, in speaking of Ireland, Fitzgibbon said 
to the English Parliament, " You know not of 
what inflammable materials that country is com- 
posed," he was guilty of the greatest crime a man 
could commit, and the worst sort of crime too. 
It was not the good-natured advice given in his 
native land by a man who was her friend ; — it 
was not the rough familiarity of friendship, re- 
proving, or even abusing his countrymen — No : it 
was the cold calumny of the man who hated 
them, — the little angry lawyer, drawing up his 
indictments against his own people. Fitzgibbon 
seemed to have always about him an aching sense 
of the infirmities of Ireland, and he constantly 
indulged in the bad habit of criticising her. He 
forgot that no good man should expose the faults 
of his country; when he hears them cited, he 
should be silent, if he will not or cannot defend 
her. But Fitzgibbon abused Ireland, instead 
of that nation by whom she was misgoverned. 
How much better is Swift! — how much better even 
Paine, who, in his reply to Raynal, says, " That 
country is to be admired, who risked all for her 
dignity, — how much more is that country to be 
admired who risked all for her liberty." Lord 
Clare made no such remark, but came forth in 
early life, an active rebel to the Constitution of 
his country, as he was in a later stage an active 
enemy to the liberties of her people,— the traducer 
of their name and their character. 


The things that Lord Clare told the English were 
not as he stated them; he did not speak truth 
when he said he could not go from his house 
without arms, and that he called for his pistols 
when he called for his hat. The proof that it 
was false was his remaining in the country. If 
that had been true, he would have left it, for he 
had much more of the woman in his composition 
than the hero. When he avowed corruption, 
created a number of places, and said, it was 
necessary to buy the House, it cannot merely be 
said that he was a bad man — it cannot be said he 
was even human — no — he was a monster. He 
should have been stopped — he should have been 
removed ; no man should have been allowed to 
say that; no government should have sanctioned 
it. Mr. Pitt should not have suffered such a man 
to continue minister for a single hour. 

The declaration, that half a million had for- 
merly been expended in buying the House of 
Commons, and that half a million was necessary to 
be expended again, was a high offence, and an im- 
peachable one. The creation of fourteen places to 
buy the members, and the sale of peerages, were 
more than high misdemeanors — they were overt 
acts of treason against the state. Fitzgibbon swore 
the yeoman of Ireland to be faithful to the Consti- 
tution, and at that moment entered into a corre- 
spondence with the British Minister in order to 
take it away, and commenced a conspiracy 



against the Constitution he had called God to 
witness that he would defend. These were 
offences grave and heinous ; they were misde- 
meanors of the deepest dye ; they were state 
crimes, deserving impeachment; for which their 
author and abettor merited punishment, and for 
which, in any other country but Ireland, he would 
have lost his head. 

Lord Clare died in 1802, at his house in 
Dublin. His death was hastened by an accident 
which he met with from riding, but the real 
disease lay in his heart, where preyed remorse, 
chagrin, and disappointment. The people col- 
lected in crowds around his residence in Ely 
Place, and the laughter, the joy, and the jokes 
resembled rather a fair than a funeral. When 
the body was brought out there arose a general 
shout ; groans and hisses were heard on all sides. 
He descended to the grave with the execration of 
his country ; and that is a dreadful thing to say 
of any man. On that day the people of Ireland 
delivered the epilogue of a bloody tragedy, and read 
from his tomb an awful lesson to those whose glory is 
their country's degradation. 

On the 8th of May, 1789, the subject of tithes 
was again brought forward. The Roman Catholics 
being now incorporated in the state, and per- 
mitted to purchase land, had acquired thereby 
considerable power, and it was probable that 
they would not greatly relish the idea of paying 



two establishments. Prior to 1778 and 1782, not 
having landed property, they paid no tithes ; 
but being rendered liable, it was to be appre- 
hended that they would strive to get rid of the 
demands made by the church, from which they 
had suffered so much already. Thus, after the 
ancient feuds and civil wars, a new contest 
seemed likely to arise about the revenues of the 
two churches, and Ireland had the dismal pros- 
pect of being again involved in religious as well as 
political differences. 

To avert such a calamity, Mr. Grattan once 
more came forward. He saw into futurity, and 
strove to settle the question respecting the two 
parties at once and for ever. With that view he 
sought to procure a valuation of all the tithes pre- 
paratory to a modus, or composition that he 
intended to propose, and accordingly, on the 8th 
of May, he brought forward a bill " to appoint 
Commissioners for the purpose of enquiring into 
the state of tithes in the different provinces of 
the kingdom, and to report a plan for the ascer- 
taining the same." 

On this occasion, the exertions of the protest- 
ant clergy were remarkable. The archbishop 
and bishops, and clergy of the province of 
Munster published a manifesto in reply to Mr. 
Grattan's speech of the year preceding, denying 
his statement as to the charges for tithes, assert- 
ing the moderation of the clergy, and appealing 




to the noblemen and gentlemen of their respective 
dioceses against his speech, which they conceived 
had cast a stigma on the whole body of the 
clergy, and was an injury to the Established 

Mr. Grattan replied to this manifesto. He 
asked for enquiry, and offered to prove the 
statements he had made. In remarking on the 
zeal and spirit of the authors of the manifesto, he 
observed, — 

"The Saviour of men suffered on a principle different 
from that which the right reverend prelate has introduced. 
The apostles, the martyrs, and that flaming constellation of 
men that in the early age of Christianity shot to their 
station in the heavens, and died, and dying illumined 
the nations of the earth with the blaze of the Gospel, were 
influenced by inspirations of a very different kind. Had 
Christ been of the prelate's opinion, he never had been 
born, and we never had been saved. Had he said to his 
apostles, ' The poor are not to be fed ; the valley is not to 
laugh and sing at the expence of our church or had the 
apostles said to the nations of the earth, e Ye are not to 
be benefited at the expence of Christian pastors ; or had 
the martyrs expostulated with themselves, * We will not 
suffer for mankind/ what had become of the Christian 
religion? Let the Pagan priest of Jove, or the sensual 
priest of Mahomet deliver such doctrines ; but do not you 
part with the palm of Christianity, nor relinquish the lofty 
self-surrendering precepts of your Gospel in order to 
brand your prayer-book with such profane notions as 

" When certain right reverend dignitaries insist on the 



poverty of the Irish church compared with that of England, 
they suggest to the people of Ireland the following ques- 
tion, — What induced those dignitaries to come to Ireland? 
Am I to understand that they left their great pretensions 
in the English church from a contempt of its riches, and 
sought preferment in the Irish church from a love of its 
poverty ? Am I to understand that a contempt for dig* 
nity, added to a contempt of riches, has induced them to 
stand in the way of our native clergy, and happily fixes 
their humble eye upon the Irish mitre? Exalted, they are 
then at leisure to make pastoral observations on our 
people. The squirearchy are tyrants ; the common people 
thieves j the Presbyterians enemies to the Constitution ; 
and the Catholics incredible on their oaths ! Having 
made an estimate of the value of our people, they pro- 
ceed to a greater question, an estimate of the value of the 
income of the clergy ; then they calculate, and like the 
industrious ant, or the busy bee, thymo crura plena, 
depositing in the episcopal cells the bulky store of eccle- 
siastical revenue, they return to the crowd, and expostu- 
late with their brethren on the poverty of the Church. 

" I speak of some — not all. There are among them men 
whom I revere ; such is one whom I do not name, because 
he is present.* Mild, learned, pious, and benevolent — a 
friend to the meekness of the gospel, and a friend to men. 
Such is another whom I might name, because he is not 
present. He has the first episcopal dignity in this 
realm ;f it is his right ; he takes it by virtue of the com- 
manding benevolence of his mind, in right of a superior 
and exalted nature. There are men possessed of certain 
creative powers, and who distinguish the place of their 
nativity, instead of being distinguished by it; they give 

* The Archbishop of Tuam. 

f Dr. Robinson, primate of all Ireland. 



birth to the place of their residence, and vivify the region 
which is about them. The man I allude to I know not, 
or know him as we know superior beings — -by his 

" The clergy, no doubt, have reason to complain of the 
paper war. They have found, in a country where reason 
may write, the palm is not to the proud potentate. Their 
antagonists have reached them, but the worst wound 
came from their own quarter. The pompous folly, the dog- 
matical and intolerant spirit ; the false alarm spread ; the 
unfounded charge made ; the want of discretion and the 
want of decorum. There is something which distinguishes 
an ecclesiastical war on the subject of property ; a mira- 
culous degree of perseverance — a marvellous portion of 
fire — a certain turbulence of zeal, and an appetite for the 
thing in controversy, which is not only keen, but ferocious. 
However, if their own publications have hurt them, the 
injury is not great ; few of them have been read ; most of 
them have been forgotten ; the brief children of rank 
appetites, they have tasted of death even in the life-time 
of their ghostly progenitors. 

" To the nobility and gentry of Munster the parochial 
clergy appeal. Why not the people?— do not they pay 
tithes ? Do not their potatoe gardens pay tithe ? The 
Saviour of man would not have passed them by. Had he 
only appealed to the nobility and gentry of Judea he must 
have overlooked his own apostles. Had the parochial 
clergy of Munster been left to themselves, their appeal 
would have taken a more evangelic direction ; but when 
court potentates prescribe, when bishops suggest, the 
parochial clergy are controlled ; and those right reverend 
apostles present, as usual, their faces to the great, and 
habitually turn from the poor and the Lord, — they over- 
look Lazarus expiring at their feet, and call on Dives to 
give his sense on the subject of charity. 



" The parochial clergy of Munster inform you that the 
church is attacked ; they tell you more, — that religion is 
attacked ; and they tell you how, because an attack, as 
they conceive, has been made on their property; they 
annex divinity of religion to the importance of their own 
exertions. With every respect for the parochial clergy of 
Munster, I cannot accede to the irreverent and impudent 
familiarity with which divines on their side make common 
cause with the Almighty. The parochial clergy of Mun- 
ster will agree with me that this licentiousness should be 
confined to human objects, and that the majesty of the 
Godhead should remain inviolate. What! is there nothing 
in our religion — nothing in its external — nothing in its 
internal evidence ? Nothing in its miracles, prophecies, 
propagation, doctrine, and diction to raise its Author above 
the possibility of being affected by the paper war and 
wretched wrangle in which some idle ecclesiastics may 
have involved themselves? He has prevailed against 
greater enemies, — the pride of the high priest and the ser- 
vility of the bishop ; but it should seem that it was not 
religion that supported the parson, but the parson that 
supported religion. The error, however, is natural and 
common ; the politician thinks the state rests on his 
shoulders, and the dignified divine imagines the church 
and the Christian religion the firmament and the starry 
sphere to dance round his person and property. It is a 
matter of curiosity to know what, on the present occasion, 
has endangered the Christian religion : an anonymous 
pamphlet against tithe, and a motion to inquire into the 
sufferings of the poor ; for this is the Godhead brought out 
from its shrine, and exposed as an outwork in defence of 
church property. However, if their religion is so con- 
nected with every step they take, they have the remedy 
within themselves ; let them agree to such acts as will 



benefit the community, or let them cease to oppose every 
act that has a tendency to relieve or to inquire. Once 
more I offer a public inquiry ; I solicit once more redress 
for the peasantry of this country. I offer a bill appointing 
commissioners for that salutary purpose ; do the clergy of 
Munster decline the offer? What! are they afraid of an 
inquiry? Will they shelter themselves under a court? 
Have they come forth with a manifesto, and do they now 
deprecate an examination? Once more I offer it, and I 
add, that if this bill should pass, and commissioners should 
be appointed, the clergy will be made sensible that we are 
friends to the provision of the church, as well as to the 
relief of the people." 

Mr. Grattan's motion was strongly opposed by 
the Government, and negatived without a division. 
This was his last effort on the subject, redress 
appeared hopeless ; but when, after an interval of 
forty years, it was brought forward again, the 
people made themselves heard, and forced it on 
the Government in the midst of tumult and blood. 
Like the Catholic question, it required almost a 
civil war to carry the measure. 

These speeches on tithes are perhaps some of 
the best that Mr. Grattan ever delivered. They 
contain great lights — fine precepts of religion 
and morality— an exalted sense of the divine at- 
tributes. They inculcate the paramount necessity 
of a pure and holy religion, freed from the wealth, 
the pomps, and vanities of this world. His object 
was to provide for the clergy, as well as to relieve 
the people. He was always sincerely attached to 
the Protestant church. The failure of his plan 



was much regretted, and many clergymen have 
since expressed their sorrow that they lost the 
opportunity of arranging their claims consistently 
with the feelings and interests of the people. But 
they would not rely upon their own countryman; 
they distrusted his object ; they doubted his sin- 
cerity. They trusted their cause — the peace of 
their native land, and the interest of the establish- 
ment— to the Parliament of another country, and 
to another people ! 

On th is occasion Mr. Grattan was assailed by a 
host of manifestoes, pamphlets, and publications. 
He was accused of a design to pull down the 
Protestant establishment, and to favor the Catho- 
lics ; lie was called an enemy of all religion, and 
said to be possessed of none. He was accused of 
being an infidel, and it was gravely stated he 
never went to church, and that he never had 
prayers said at home, — assertions as idle as they 
were unfounded. 

Had Mr. Grattan proposed that ten bishops 
should be abolished ; that twenty-five per cent, 
should be struck off the income of every clergy- 
man ; and that where there were not 100 Pro- 
testants there should neither be church nor 
parson ; — had he proposed this, the clergy would 
have considered him not as a leveller, but as a 
madman. And yet this was done* — done quietly 
— in part submitted to without a murmur — done 

* See the Bills proposed in 1834, 1836, and 1837. 


by another country — by a majority of the Parlia- 
ment of another country assembled out of Ireland, 
to whom the Irish church had entrusted the pre- 
servation of their establishment, being afraid to 
confide it to their own. 

Let this be a lesson to men not to run down 
their country or their countrymen, but to trust 
both and uphold both ; and above all, let it warn 
them not, upon false suppositions, fears, or charges, 
to sell their birthright — to part with the dearest 
and most venerated institutions of their country in a 
moment of anger ; for most probably, if they do, 
they will be treated as the Irish church, doomed 
to undergo similar curtailment, and forced to 
submit to equal humiliation. 

The measures that were in contemplation for 
the benefit of the country, were successively 
rejected. Mr. Grattan's resolution respecting 
absentee offices and reversions ; the bill to disable 
revenue officers from voting at elections ; Mr. 
Forbes' pension bill ; the police bill ; the report 
even of the committee of the House of Commons, 
which condemned the old police ; — -Mr. Grattan's 
bill for the improvement of barren land, by ex- 
empting it from tithe ; his bill for ascertaining the 
tithe on flax, with a view to the relief of the linen 
manufacturers ; his bill to disable placemen from 
sitting in Parliament ; all these were rejected. 
Thus ended the memorable session of 1789. Par- 
liament adjourned to the 25th of May, and was 
afterwards prorogued. 


A new spirit seemed now to have grown up in 
the administration, just as a new style and man- 
ner had appeared in the House of Commons. 
The former was vindictive and illiberal ; the latter 
pert and arrogant. A new set of men sprang 
forward ; a body of adventurers, possessed of a 
few hundred pounds a-year, who had no stake 
in the country, and had not at heart her real 
interests. They beheld men rewarded for taking 
part with the British minister against the sense of 
the Irish Parliament, and the wishes of the Irish 
people, and they steered their course accordingly. 

To this party Mr. Pitt became enfeoffed. The 
course he pursued in Ireland in 1789, was similar 
to that pursued afterwards in 1797. He kept no 
measures with the people in either case ; in both 
it was indiscriminate, general, and unmitigated 
punishment. He seemed determined that the 
working of the free constitution should be stopped; 
that the era of 1782 should exist merely in name, 
and in the wicked words of his minister (Fitz- 
gibbon), " to make the Irish gentry sick of their 

To these men, with humble pretensions, inferior 
talents, little character, and no conscience, did 
Mr. Pitt hand over the country, as it were, abso- 
lutely and for ever. They were the ministers of 
the people at first; they became their execution- 
ers at last. Clare, Agar, Beresford, Duigenan, 

» See his speech in Irish Parliamentary Debates and Journals of the 

416 marq. of Buckingham's departure, [ch. xiii. 

Cooke, — every bad and every odious man was 
advanced by Mr. Pitt in the very act of com- 
mitting his mischief. The people only required 
to know them ; they did not need nor did they 
ask to go farther: as Mr. Grattan expressed it, 
" there was rebellion in their very names." 

The Marquess of Buckingham's career now 
approached its termination. Having opposed 
many good measures, promoted many bad men, 
and increased the expenses of the country in a 
manner wanton and profligate, — having thus 
vented his wrath upon the country, he became as 
universally disliked as before he had been popu- 
lar ; and he retired from Dublin to the neigh- 
bourhood of the Black Rock. It was intended to 
have illuminated the capital on the night of his 
departure ; but he stole away from his residence, 
and thus disappointed the indignation of the 
people whom he had so much injured and in- 

Mr. Fitzgibbon and Mr. Foster were sworn in 
Lords Justices, and it was not until the 5th of 
January that Lord Westmoreland arrived as Lord 
Buckingham's successor. Mr. Curran's observa- 
tions in the debate on the address were strictly 
applicable to the occasion of the latter's depar- 
ture. Mr. Cur ran said : — 

" He felt the reverses of human fate. He remembered 
this very supplicant for a compliment, to which he pre- 
tended only because it was no compliment, drawn into 
this city by the people harnessed to his chariot, through 



streets blazing with illuminations ; and after more than a 
year's labour* at computation, he has hazarded on a para- 
graph stating no one act of private or public good, — sup- 
ported by no man that says he loves him — attested by no 
act that says he ought to be loved — defended not by 
an assertion of his merit, but an extenuation of his delin- 
quency. He was but little averse to accede to the senti- 
ment of an honourable friend, who observed that he 
was soon to leave us, and that it was harsh to refuse 
him even a smaller civility than every predecessor for 
a century had got. For his part, he did not oppose 
his being borne away from us in the common hearse of his 
predecessors; he did not wish to pluck a single faded 
plume from the canopy, nor a single rag of velvet that 
might flutter on the pall." 

It is time to state something in reference to the 
individual whose name and abilities were so well 
known in both countries. Mr. Curran was a 
very extraordinary character. From nothing, he 
became everything. Without family, friends, or 
fortune, he raised himself to one of the first 
judicial offices in the State, and in despite of his 
love of liberty and attachment to Ireland, he suc- 
ceeded. Other men have ascended the bench by 
treading upon the people, and by selling their 
native land. Curran was superior to such base 
arts ; he was unchangeable in his affection for 
both. For twenty-three years he toiled in their 
service — from 1783, when he came into the Irish 

* Great enquiries were made into the public offices, and much lavish 
expenditure and many dishonest practices abolished. 


E E 




Parliament, to 1806, when he was appointed 
Master of the Rolls. In the senate, at the bar, 
in the courts, in his public hours, or his private 
moments, his sentiments towards Ireland never 
changed ; and they were more than earnest — they 
amounted to enthusiasm. 

He was a man of surprising natural talent. In 
this respect there was no one in Ireland equal to 
him, and certainly none in England. Give him a 
subject, and he ornamented it in the best and 
brightest manner ; he illumined it in the most 
brilliant and dazzling style, and drew down upon 
it all the lights that were capable of adorning it. 
His mind was a perfect prism, and cast the 
colours of the rainbow upon whatever passed 
through it. He was never at a loss ; he was 
never puzzled. His vocabulary was rich to over- 
flowing, and never failed him, whether in descrip- 
tion or in argument. His style was highly orna- 
mental, his language surprising, and his imagina- 
tion wonderful, — at one moment sublime, at ano- 
ther pathetic ; but his taste was not always 
good. His understanding was not correct, and 
he was sometimes deficient in statement. He 
could, however, argue well; but his judgment 
was not sound, and he loved imagination better 
than close reasoning. If it were not for these 
defects, he would have been the first of orators. 

In private life, Curran's conversation was sin- 
gularly entertaining, full of vivacity and humour, 




and sometimes instructive ; tinged, however, with 
some degree of affectation. His powers of ridi- 
cule were astonishing ; it was not possible to 
resist the drollery of his descriptions. He cast 
over his stories a comicality that convulsed the 
auditory ; so that the entire company, whether 
friends or foes, were seized with irresistible laugh- 
ter. It may be truly said of him, " his flashes 
of merriment were wont to set the table in a 

Curran had not read very profoundly; he wanted 
the habit of application, and was too easily satis- 
fied with superficial knowledge. In the House of 
Commons he did not succeed so well as at the 
bar. He spoke only on a few subjects, and he 
had not time to study the journals or the debates. 
If he had applied his mind in this respect, he 
would have succeeded. His replies to Lord Clare* 
and to Doctor Duigenanf were very good. His 
speech before the Privy Council^ in the case of 
the Lord Mayor of Dublin was excellent. The 
metaphor he used on this occasion — " Error is in 
its nature flippant and compendious ; it hops with 
airy and fastidious levity over proofs and argu- 
ments, and perches upon assertion, which it calls 
conclusion." This was light and pretty, and 
applied so exactly to Lord Clare, that he could 
not endure it; he lost his temper, stopped the 

* On the propositions in 1785. f On the Catholic Debate, 1793. 
X Before the Privy Council, 1790. 

E E 2 



argument, and ordered the council-room to be 

Curran was an ardent lover of liberty. He pos- 
sessed great public spirit, and felt a strong indig- 
nation against all public abuses. He stood forth 
almost the only lawyer* who supported popular 
principles against the Government, and with a 
spirit that surprised every one, not only by its 
boldness, but its audacity. He was an honest 
public man, when he had every temptation to 
be corrupt, and had before him bad examples 
without number ; but his mind never warped, nor 
did his heart ever for a single instant cease to beat 
in unison with his country. 

Curran was too fond of applause, and possessed 
too much vanity ; so that the ends of justice and 
the interests of his client did not always seem his 
favourite objects. Here Erskine bore away the 
palm. He did not appear to speak from his 
heart, and it was said he always shewed too much 
feeling to possess any. He was ill treated by the 
Chancellor, by the judges, and by the bar; he 
was even almost excluded by them. But he 
triumphed over all, and established a character 
for public integrity that was the envy of many, 
and was surpassed by none. There was no talent 
to be compared to his ; there was no public spirit 
equal to his ; there was no political courage like 
his ; there was no patriotism superior to his. 

* Fletcher should not be forgotten ; he was a short time in parlia- 
ment, and acted well. 




Curran possessed great courage, personal as well 
as political. He fought Mr. St. Leger, Mr. Egan, 
Major Hobart, and Mr. Fitzgibbon (Lord Clare). 
The first of these duels arose from his speech on 
behalf of his client, a Roman Catholic clergy- 
man ; the second, from a quarrel in some cause in 
the law courts ; the third, in consequence of a 
supposed insult from a person of the name of 
Giffard,* (a retainer of Government,) whom Curran 
thought it beneath him to fight ; the last arose 
from an attack upon Ireland, in the House of 
Commons, by Mr. Fitzgibbon, then Attorney- 
general. But Curran did more than all this — he 
did what few men would do, and what no other 
man did, — he defended the United Irishmen ; he 
did it fearlessly and faithfully ;f he defended them 
at the time of civil rage — at the period of torture, 
of martial law, and of military government, when 
the soldiery were in the capital, and stood guard- 
ing and threatening in the courts. This Cur- 

* This individual, it was said, had shaken his stick at Mr. Curran at 
some distance in the street, which probably never was seen by Curran, 
and was a cowardly thing of Giffard, but of which the latter boasted. 
Curran disdained to fight so low a person, and wrote to the Secretary 
(Hobart) to have him dismissed ; complaining of him, and pressing Mr. 
Hobart. The latter sent a reply that did not appear satisfactory, and 
Curran then sent a message. When the parties met, Hobart did not 
fire. Giffard was tried in the Viceroyalty of Lord Westmoreland, and 
convicted of an outrageous assault on a citizen of Dublin, but the 
Government remitted most of the punishment. 

t Leonard M'Nally, the well known advocate, who was also counsel 
for the United Irishmen, — was in the receipt of a secret pension from 
Government. The circumstance did not transpire till after his death. 



ran did, at the risk, almost at the threat, of being 
disbarred,* and almost at the hazard of being 
assassinated. On one occasion, when pleading, 
he turned to the soldiers, who were threatening 
round him, and exclaimed, "You may murder 
me, but you cannot intimidate me." 

Curran had the Chancellor against him, the 
court against him, and the military against him. 
He opposed them all ; yet he survived, and 
triumphed. He deserves to be upheld as a great 
example, and worthy of imitation. But even 
without any of these proud and honourable cir- 
cumstances, his name would have descended to 
fame. His speeches alone would be sufficient to 

* Curran used to relate the following anecdote: — "When Nelson 
(the United Irishman) was put on his trial, he was asked whether he had 
counsel : he started up, and said, ' Government have resolved to deprive 
me of the means of safety; my money is all gone; they have reduced 
me to this state of poverty, so that I cannot fee counsel/ I was among 
the silk gowns, and hearing this, I turned up to Nelson, and exclaimed, 
1 Now, Mr. Nelson, do you positively say you have no money, and do 
you mean to say that is the cause of your want of counsel? I am sure 
if you were to ask any lawyer in this court, he would take up your 
cause without fee or reward. For my part, if my services can be of any 
use to you, you may command them.' He replied, * Sir, I accept the 
offer.' The next day Carleton (judge) came to me and said how 
singular and wrong a thing it was for any lawyer in his majesty's court, 
more especially a person in my situation, to volunteer the defence of a 
traitor! And he hinted that my gown might he taken from me ! Con- 
ceive such a thing ! For my part, 1 thought it would have been a dis- 
grace to the bar, and to the country, if it was said that a man was to be 
tried for his life, and there was no lawyer to defend him because he had 
no money to fee a counsel. I said to Carleton, \ My lord, I thank you 
for this visit/ (I condescended to pun), ' his Majesty, my lord, may take 
away the silk, but he will leave the stuff behind.' " 




preserve his memory. Those in the case of Hevey 
against Major Sirr, in the case of Judge Johnson, 
and in the case of Hamilton Rowan,* are master- 
pieces of oratory. The first, Mr. Fox greatly ad- 
mired, and said it contained the finest satire. 
Such was the effect of the latter, that the people 
harnessed themselves to Curran's chariot, and 
drew him in triumph through the streets of 
Dublin, amidst the deafening applause of his 

At Nisi Prius, and the cross-examination of a 
witness, Curran was unrivalled. But the court of 
equity was not the best adapted either for his 
knowledge or his talents ; and the same want of 
application which caused him not to overcome 
Lord Clare in his own court, which he could 
easily have done if he had applied to his profes- 
sion, affected him on the bench, where he now 
presided. His decisions, however, were not com- 
plained of, and he was complimented in addresses 
from the members of his profession. 

When the Whigs came into power in 1806, 

* In this case Mr. Rowan sent to Curran's friends to learn how far 
Curran would go along with him in his political opinions, and in the 
conducting of his defence would suffer himself to be governed by them. 
Curran, on being informed of this, was highly indignant, and sent him 
word that he would not listen to any such proposition, that he would 
not allow any man to dictate to him Ins political trash, or any of Ids igno- 
rant nonsense. This spirited reply did not, however, prevent his being 
engaged for Rowan, and in his defence he delivered a most eloquent 
speech ; but as to his politics, he never entertained a high opinion of 





Curran was not well used. They paid him with 
reluctant honesty, and treated him with marked 
neglect, and he felt it deeply. But he forgot that 
the Union had taken place, and that past Irish 
services were not held in high esteem by the 
Whig aristocracy of England. His party came in 
and slighted him ; they left in office their oppo- 
nents, and left out of office their friends ; and 
were not strenuous in rewarding public virtue; 
they became philosophers, not politicians, and 
forgot that if a Government wishes to possess the 
affections of an injured people, it must enter into 
their passions. 

Junius justly observes, " The injuries you have 
done this country are such as demand not merely 
redress, but vengeance. No man is authorized to 
forgive the injuries done to society." Junius might 
have added, if he does, the next step is to injure 
her himself. To reason otherwise, argues an 
ignorance of mankind ; for nations in this respect 
are like individuals : their feelings must be gra- 
tified, and they never will rest content with a cold 
assertion of principle. When Hampden said to 
Lord Strafford, " I will stick by you till I leave you 
on the scaffold" he spoke not only like an honest 
man, but like a wise one. 

The Whigs were certainly bound to support 
Curran. George Ponsonby had signed the docu- 
ment in 1789, called the " round robin," by 
which the party were pledged not to take office 



unless together. That stipulation was forgotten, 
and Curran was overlooked. William (afterwards 
Lord) Ponsonby, a vain but very honest man, 
grew angry ; and at a meeting at Mr. Fox's he 
said, when a discussion arose on the subject, that 
they were bound to provide for Curran. Objec- 
tions were made to his character, and to the 
transaction respecting his daughter* and Robert 
Emmett, which some alleged stood in the way; 
Lord Spencer attaching more importance to it 
than it merited — Mr. Fox attaching to it none 
whatever. The party were puzzled, and did not 
know what place to give him, and Mr. Grattan, 
it was said, humorously observed, " Better, then, 
make him an Irish bishop !" 

Justice here compels one to say, that in his sub- 
sequent conduct, Curran committed a great mis- 
take. He allowed Ponsonby to pay 800/. a-year 
for him (the salary of the clerk of his Court.) 
Thus he became a pensioner of the party, and 
placed himself completely in the wrong— as any 
man would do who would suffer another to pay 
a penny for him. Had he avoided this error, he 
would have triumphed, and deservedly stung his 

* This related to some papers found at Mr. Curran's, which Govern- 
ment got in 1803. Robert Emmett had formed a strong attachment to 
his daughter, and wrote to her unknown to the father; he was not aware 
of the intimacy, and was too wise a man to have any thing to say to the 
politics of that party. He had known several of them in private, and 
had a very low opinion of their capacity. 




party for the manner in which they treated 

Sheridan, Curran, and Fox are striking in- 
stances, how necessary it is for great public men 
to be good private characters. Curran was not 
sufficiently select as to his company, nor was he 
fond of the best society ; neither was he a very 
happy man. In private, he was unfortunate, and 
full of sores. His griefs too were frenzies. He 
had moments of rapture, but few of repose — none 
of content. Towards the close of his career, he 
grew restless, and dissatisfied. His brilliant 
imagination saw every thing through a distorted 
medium. He seemed, moreover, to feel bitterly 
the want of that sweet blessing — "home;" and 
when, after a long and stormy voyage, he had got 
safe into port, while others were driven back 
to sea again, he suddenly gave up his judicial 
office of Master of the Rolls, and threw off that 
sacred mantle, that covered a multitude of his wild 
errors, and made him rank among a dignified 

Peace to his ashes I* His faults stand redeemed 

* A short time before his death he was condoling with Mr. Grattan 
upon Irish politics, when on a sudden he exclaimed, "I begin to tremble 
for Ireland. I almost wish to go to Spain and borrow a beard and turn 
monk. I am weaning of my early affections, and wish the grave-digger 
would overtake me in another country." After this tirade, Mr. Grattan 
observed, " Yes ; a man who inhabits a secondary country is obliged 
in his old age to travel, in order to live." Curran's wish was fulfilled. 
He died in 1817, at Brompton, near London, and was buried in an 




by the splendour of his talents, and fade away 
before the virtuous affection he bore his native 

adjacent church-yard ; but his remains were afterwards disinterred, 
brought to Ireland, and deposited in the cemetery, north of Dublin, 
where a monument was by subscription erected over him. Mr.Grattan 
said of him, " I feel his loss ; it leaves a blank, and recalls many plea- 
sant moments that we have passed in public life together." 



Formation of the Whig Club — Lord Charlemont's and Mr. Edmund 
Burke's opinions — Whig opposition — Tory Government — Members of 
the Whig Club — Their declarations — Lord Westmoreland appointed 
Lord-lieutenant, and Mr. Hobart secretary — Proceedings of the Irish 
House of Commons in 1790 — Singular speech of Mr. Parsons, after- 
wards Lord Rosse — Mr. Grattan's charges of corruption against 
the Government — Offers to prove them — Popular measures rejected 
■ — Abuse of justice in the case of fiats granted for libels — Continua- 
tion of sessions — Parliament dissolved — General election, 1790 — Mr. 
Grattan returned for the city of Dublin — County of Down election — 
Mr. Robert Stewart (Lord Castlereagh) pledges himself to popular 
reform — His address to the electors. 

To counteract the violence of the men that were 
in power, the opposition thought it expedient to 
form a society called the " Whig Club," similar 
to that in England, and upon the same liberal and 
constitutional principles. It certainly was a 
formidable body in the state, — a political assem- 
bly, — watching and superintending the measures 
of Government. But an institution of this kind 
was necessary in Ireland, and particularly at this 
time, in order to keep the party together, and 
guard against the Union ; and though it failed in 
the latter object, it was nevertheless of great 

There existed, unfortunately, this difference be- 



tween Ireland and England, —that the Irish aristo- 
cracy were not resident : the landed proprietors, 
being in a great proportion Englishmen, were 
absentees ; and the great mass of the people 
(chiefly Catholics) had not yet grown up to their 
free constitution. Hitherto the people, in order 
to carry their measures, had been obliged to act 
in masses, and had driven the Government before 
them, and compelled them to capitulate. But 
such a system could not long last, nor could such 
a course be always pursued or safely recom- 
mended. Thus there existed a comparatively 
small body to offer any permanent aid to liberal 
or any effectual resistance to unconstitutional 
measures. Public opinion in Ireland was no- 
thing; so Mr. Burke had long before observed, 
and so it continued almost to the latest period, 
the short intervals of 1780 and 1782 excepted. 

Lord Charlemont, Mr. Grattan, Mr. Ponsonby, 
and Mr. Forbes were the originators of the society 
called " The Whig Club." It embraced various 
shades of politics, much diversity of talents, per- 
sons of great worth, great genius, and great abili- 
ties ; men ardently attached to the monarchy, — 
steady supporters of settled government, — at- 
tached to the principles of the revolution of 1688 
in England, — and proud of that of 1782 in Ireland. 

The establishment of this body met with the 
warm approbation of Mr. Burke. In his letter to 
Lord Charlemont, he says : — 



u I think your lordship has acted with your usual zeal 
and judgment in establishing a Whig Club in Dublin. 
These meetings prevent the evaporation of principle in 
individuals, and give them joint force, and enliven their 
exertions by emulation. You see the matter in its true 
light, and with your usual discernment. Party is abso- 
lutely necessary at this time ; I thought it always so in 
this country ever since I have had anything to do in public 

Mr. Grattan, in his letter to Sir Jonah Bar- 
rington, more correctly states that the object was 
(i to obtain an internal reform of Parliament, in 
which they partly succeeded,— and to prevent the 
Union, in which they failed." 

The leaders of the opposition were of old Whig 
families, British settlers. Mr. Fitzgibbon, who had 
just obtained the seals, was of popish extraction, 
Tory in principle, and now completely wedded to 
that party in England. History has told what 
the Tory party have done. With Lord Boling- 
broke at their head, they betrayed the interests of 
England, and sold the country to the Pretender ; 
they lost the fruits of Marlborough's battles, and 
gave up the glory and empire of England. At the 
treaty of Utrecht they surrendered the victories 
of Great Britain, and then wanted to surrender 
the empire. By the treaty of Paris they lost the 
benefits of the seven years' war (in which they 
had beaten France) ; and subsequently by the 
treaty of 1814, they lost the advantages which 



England had gained, and in the ensuing year they 
had to fight the battle over again. 

It is singular that the minister, in 1814, should 
have fallen into an error similar to that committed 
before, and have taken moral instead of physical 
security ; it is also remarkable that England 
should have always beaten France in the field, 
and have always been outwitted by her in the 

The Whigs, however, sank with the Pre- 
tender : they were the supporters of liberty and 
his opposers. Sir Robert Walpole kept the 
family of Brunswick on the throne, against the 
great body of their enemies in England. The 
Whigs were necessary to the existence of that 
family, and were trusted by them during the reign 
of the two first Georges, but abandoned by them 
in the reign of the two last. In the latter years 
of George IV., in their contests with him they 
acted unwisely ; they fell into an error similar to 
that committed in the reign of Charles II., when 
they injured themselves by becoming too violent, 
and ran into the extreme of party. Unfortunately, 
too, it must be confessed, that the manners of 
some of their leaders were very bad, cold, haughty, 
and reserved ; consequently, they lost favour with 
the court, and popularity with the people. In 
Ireland they wanted wisdom and consistency. 

* The management by Lord Palmerston, in the negociation of this 
year with France, (1840) forms, however, an exception. 




Below is the list of the members of the Whig 
club, and the resolutions they published declara- 
tory of their views and principles.* This latter 
document is the more remarkable, because at this 
period the doctrines of the French revolution 
were beginning to appear, and it might be sup- 

* Whig Club. 
Original Members. — Dublin, June 26, 1789. 

John Philpot Curran, esq. 
Willian Ogilvie, esq. 
Arthur Browne, esq. (College) 
Francis Hardy, esq. 
William Doyle, esq. 
John Doyle, esq. 
Sir John Freke, Bart. 
Rt. Hon. Sir Skeffington Smith, Bt. 
Sir Miehal Cromie, Bart. 
Thomas Burgh, esq. (Old Town) 
Lodge Morris, esq. 
Sir Richard Musgrave, Bart. 

His Grace the Duke of Leinster. 
His Grace, Archbishop of Tuam. 
Right Hon. Earl of Charlemont. 

„ Earl of Granard. 

„ Earl of Moira. 

„ Earl of Portarlington. 

„ Earl of Shannon. 

„ Earl of Louth. 

„ Earl of Arran. 

„ Earl of Grandison. 

„ Earl of Ross. 
Earl Farnham. 

„ Ld. Visct.Mountgarret. John Staples, esq. 
Right Rev. Lord Bishop of Downe. Right Hon. Lord Chief Baron 
Right Hon. Lord Henry Fitzgerald. Yelverton. 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Hon. Baron Metge. 

Thomas Conoly. 
John O'Neil. 
Henry Grattan. 
William Ponsonby. 
George Ponsonby, esq. 
James Stewart, esq. (Killamoen) 
Denis Bowes Daly, esq. 
John Forbes, esq. 

John Wolfe, esq. 

William Burton, esq. 

Sir Annesley Stewart, Bart. 

James Stewart, esq. (Donegal) 

Richard Neville, esq. 

Sir Edward Newenham, Bart. 

Sir Joseph Hoare, Bart. 

Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Cavendish, Bt. 

Sir Edward Crofton, Bart. 

Elected Members.— July 10, 1789. 
George Lowther, esq. Richard Sheridan, esq. 

Travers Hartley, esq. Rev. Edward Berwick. 

Richard Griffith, esq. 




posed would have affected the leaders of the 
popular party. The objects here revealed will be 

August 19, 1789. 

Right Hon. Lord Lismore. Bartholomew Hoare, esq. 

Sir Richard St. George, Bt. Rev. Richard Stack. 

Hon. Francis Matthew. 

Francis Knox, esq. 

Mervyn Archdall, esq. 

William Handcock, esq. 

John Egan, esq. 

Theobald M'Kenna, esq. 

Wogan Brown, esq. 

John Preston, esq. 

Septemper 17, 1789. 

Simon Digby, esq. 

Henry Hatton, esq. 

Henry Bruen, esq. 

Gorges Lowther, jun., esq. 

Richard Grace, esq. 

November 4, 1789. 

Andrew Caldwell, esq. 

Rev. Mr. O'Bern. 

William Hume, esq. 

November 13, 1789. 

George Macquay, esq. 

Richard Archdall, esq. 

December 11, 1789. 

Rt. Rev. Lord Bishop of Killala. Luke Fox, esq. 

George Carroll, esq. 

William Irvine, esq. 

Rev. James Verschoyle. 

Thomas Townsend Dawson, esq, 

January 19, 1790. 

Major Gorges Irvine. 

William Loftus, esq. 

Daniel Gahan, esq. 

Rev. William Irvine. 

Edmond O'Callaghan, esq. William Perse, esq. 

Hamilton Rowan, esq. 

Charles Newenham, esq. 

John Edwards, esq. 

January 29, 1790. 

Ricrht Hon. The Earl of Cork. Richard Jebb, esq. 

Colonel Staples. 

Robert Phayre, esq. 

Rev. Archdeacon Caulfield. Major John Murray. 

William Carroll, esq. 

Peter Rutledge, esq. 

February 9, 1790. 

Henry Gonne Bell, esq. 

John D'Arcy, esq. 

February 17, 1790. 

Thomas Barton, esq., M. P. James Dawson, esq. 

Coghil Cramer, esq. 

Frederick Faulkner, esq. 

William Judge, esq. 



found to be strictly constitutional ; they refute 
the charge of democratic principles so often made 

March 4, 1790. 

Philip Newton, esq. William Thomas Smith, esq. 

Arthur Molesworth, esq. Gilbert Webster, esq. 

Francis Hopkins, esq. 

March 26, 1790. 
Sir Edward Loftus, Bart. Captain Brooke. 

Cornelius Grogan, esq. Edward Jones Agnew, esq. 

Dublin, August 19M, 1789. 

Resolutions and Declarations of the Whig Club. 

Whereas under the circumstances of our renovated Constitution, we 
deem it necessary that a constant and unremitting watch should be kept 
against every step of encroachment upon those rights which have been 
lately re-established, and for the safety of which we cannot but appre- 
hend more danger from an administration, which has already insidiously 
attempted to infringe them, than we should from a ministry formed of 
those men, under whose power, and with whose concurrence they were 
originally restored to us, and whose principles we must approve, be- 
cause they are our own. 

And whereas, at the present critical juncture, (when, besides many 
other alarming symptoms, we clearly perceive a settled and premeditated 
plan to sap the liberties of Ireland, by overwhelming her with expences, 
and consequent debt, in order to the increase of unconstitutional influence 
in her Parliament,) it is expedient to adopt every measure which may 
contribute to bring, and to keep together, men of genuine Whig Princi- 
ple, and consequently ardent lovers of their country and of its liberties : 
we think it may be useful, to institute a Society of congenial characters, 
under the appellation of the Whig Club, so styled from the principles and 
motives of its constituents. 

And, that every candidate for this Club, may be fully apprized of the 
motives and intentions of those with whom he wishes to associate, we 
have framed the following body of resolutions and declarations, to be 
perused and subscribed by all such candidates, previously to their 

Resolved, That the great object of this Society, is the constitution of 




against the Opposition ; and if they had been 
honestly carried into effect, they would have 
averted much of the evils that afterwards ensued. 

the realm, as settled by the revolution in Great Britain and Ireland in 
1688 — and re-established in Ireland 1782. 

That we will support and maintain, as a principal object and funda- 
mental part of that constitution — The "sacred rights of the people;" 
and above all, that great, indispensable right of the subjects of this 
realm, to be free from, and independent on the authority of any Parlia- 
ment, or legislature whatsoever, save only the Parliament of Ireland ; — 
that is to say, the King of Ireland, and the Lords and Commons of this 

We, therefore, protest against and abjure as illegal and criminal, a 
doctrine, which, on a late occasion, has been advanced, " that the Parlia- 
ment of another country had, in the appointment of a Regent over this 
realm, a legislative authority." 

We declare, that the Parliament of Ireland — that is to say, "the King 
of Ireland, and the Lords and Commons thereof," are the only legislature 
of this realm. 

And we further declare, that as far as in us lies, we will endeavour to 
preserve to this country in all times to come, a Parliament of her own, 
residing within this realm, and exclusively invested with all Parliamen- 
tary privileges and powers. 

That we will for ever support and maintain the constitutional rights 
and dignity of the Imperial Crown of Ireland ; and we do abjure as 
illegal nnd criminal a doctrine lately advanced, "that his Majesty legis- 
lates in Ireland as King of Great Britain," in as much as said doctrine 
is not founded in our laws, militates against our Constitution, affects to 
depose the King of Ireland, and tends to dissolve the principles of our 
allegiance and our liberty. 

That the best and surest method of preserving the constitutional rights 
of the Crown, is to preserve and transmit the same in succession in the 
House of Brunswick. 

That we shall ever adhere to the principles which directed the Lords 
and Commons of Ireland, when, on a late melancholy occasion, they ad- 
dressed his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, to take on himself 
during his Royal father's indisposition, the administration of affairs, free 
from occasional and unconstitutional restrictions; such restrictions 

FF 2 



In England there existed a law preventing 
revenue officers from voting at elections, and by 

being more calculated to answer the views of ambition, than to preserve 
liberty, or to promote the solid interests of the empire. 

That we shall ever maintain and vindicate the principle and justice 
which actuated our Parliament, when, on behalf of the people of this 
realm, they did impose a public and merited censure on his Excellency 
the Marquis of Buckingham, for his ill-advised, unwarranted, and un- 
constitutional conduct. 

That we will ever maintain, as sacred and indissoluble our connection 
with Great Britain, being in our opinion, indispensably necessary for 
the freedom of this kingdom in particular, and for the freedom, strength, 
and prosperity of the empire in general. 

We have set forth the great principles and objects of the Whig Club ; 
and we have formed this society, because we apprehend some of those 
objects are in danger. 

The rights of the people of Ireland have been publicly and minis- 
terially questioned by the present Chief Governor. 

A right in the Parliament of another country to make laws for this 
kingdom, in the case of a Regency, has been by the Ministers of the 
Crown in Ireland, advanced and defended. 

The competency of the two Houses of the Irish Parliament on a late 
occasion, has been denied. 

The legislative capacity of the King of Ireland has been denied, and 
the great seal of another country held up as a substitute for the Imperial 
Crown of this Realm. 

The undue influence of the Crown over both Houses of Parliament 
has been of late, beyond all example increased. 

A Pension Bill has been rejected by the influence of the present 
Ministers of Ireland. 

A Place Bill has been rejected by the same influence. 
A bill for the better securing the freedom of election, by disqualifying 
revenue officers from voting for members to serve in Parliament, has 
been rejected by the same influence. 

The present extravagant, ineffectual and unconstitutional police of 
the city of Dublin, has been continued and patronized by the same 




means of this salutary enactment the influence of 
the Crown was considerably diminished ; but in 

All proceedings in Parliament to remove the grievance, or censure the 
abuse, have been resisted and defeated, by the same influence. 

The expediency of combating by corruption, a constitutional majority 
in Parliament, has been publicly avowed, and the principle so avowed 
has beeu in part carried into execution. 

Honours, as we apprehend, have been sold, and the money deposited 
for the purpose of purchasing seats in the Commons, for the dependants 
of administration, in order to procure for the Minister a majority in 
Parliament. For the same corrupt purpose, useless offices have been 
created or revived. 

Boards for the same unconstitutional and venal purpose have been 
divided ; sinecure offices split to multiply the number of Commissioners, 
for no other purpose than to increase the influence of the Minister, and 
gratify the individual. 

For the same venal purpose, and with as little colour or pretence, 
salaries have been augmented, to increase the Parliamentary influence of 
the Minister, at the expence of the nation. 

A plan of intimidation has aided and abetted the views of corruption; 
and members of Parliament have, by the Minister, been expressly 
threatened with being made " the victims of their votes," or have been 
displaced, for no reason or pretence whatever, except their constitutional 
conduct in Parliament. 

That we apprehend these proceedings and principles avow a design 
to govern this country unconstitutionally, and must, if successful, render 
the Minister absolute in the Parliament of Ireland, by corruption. 

That this danger is the more to be apprehended, because there is no 
fixed or adequate responsibility in the situations of the persons who di- 
rect the affairs of this country ; and the Minister of Ireland (however 
culpable), is but too likely to elude public justice. 

That, to redress, as far as in us lies, these grievances, we have formed 
this society, and resolved : — 

That, in whatever situation we shall stand, we will exert our endea- 
vours, by all legal and constitutional means, to annul and do away all 
the expenses and charges above alluded to ; and in order to secure this 
country against the repetition of such grievances, we further resolve 
to struggle by the same means for the attainment of those objects, which, 



Ireland the opposition had in vain attempted to 
carry a similar measure. Mr. Grattan intending 
to bring forward a bill on this subject in the 
ensuing session, applied to Mr. Forbes to ascer- 
tain how the law had operated in England. Its 
beneficial effect will here be seen from the letter 
of Mr. Forbes : — 


London, Dec. 2lst, 1789. 

Dear Grattan, 
I have not been forgetful of your letters, and directions, as 
to the number of boroughs wrested from the Court by the 
Revenue Officers' Bill. They were computed at seventy ; 
the number of Revenue Officers disqualified, nine thousand 
and jive hundred. As to the Contractors' Bill, it was con- 

at the close of the last session were proposed by the minority in Parlia- 
ment, and resisted by the Minister. 

And whereas, in the year 1785, on the credit of a commercial adjust- 
ment, which, for reasons never-to-be forgotten, did not take place; new 
taxes to the amount of 140,000/. per annum were granted, under an en- 
gagement, that the economy of the Minister should co-operate with the 
bounty of Parliament, to prevent the excess of expense above income. 
We therefore think it the more incumbent on us, as far as in us lies, to 
resist the present extravagance of Government, being a direct breach of 
the faith of Ministers, pledged on that occasion, as well as the certain 
means of increasing the taxes and the debt of the nation, to supply ex- 
penses incurred, with a design to diminish her integrity, and undermine 
her freedom. 

Resolved, that no person elected into this Club, shall be considered 
as a member thereof, till he has subscribed to the above resolutions and 

Resolved, that these resolutions be printed for the use of the 
members. Signed by Order, 

Thomas Conolly, Sec. 



sidered more as a cautionary measure, than such as was to 
produce an immediate effect. 

Respecting the establishment of the Ordnance, I applied 
to the Duke of Portland, and requested him to refer me 
to some of his friends who had served in that department. 
He recommended me to Adams and Pelham. The former 
could not afford me any complete information. I have 
written to Pelham, who answered me, that it was impossi- 
ble to furnish me with a correct state of that establishment 
till his return to town after Christmas. I shall write to 
Pelham, to entreat him to send me this statement as 
soon as possible, but particularly before the Committee of 
Accounts sits. 

Be assured I shall not lose sight of my Responsibility 
Bill. You cannot forget that I expressed a wish last 
winter to move this business ; but you mentioned that 
Lord S. and some other friends were indisposed. I per- 
ceive you have introduced it into the resolutions of the 
Whig Club ; though it is not one of those measures to 
which the members in the concluding resolutions pledge 

I am surprised to find that you are to decline the city, 
and stand for Wicklow. Don't write in answer, as I shall 
leave town this week for Chester. You don't mention 
Mrs. Grattan, therefore I conclude and trust that she is as 
well as I could wish her. 

The King is much disgusted with Pitt, and would be 
happy to receive our friends into favour, if they were in- 
clined to accede to any proposal of accommodation. The 
Cabinet is miserably divided; yet there is not any prospect 
of an effectual change. The treaty lately concluded with 
Prussia has embarrassed Pitt, as the Court of Berlin 
favours the residence of the Emperor's subjects in Brabant 
— nay, it is confidently reported, is determined openly to 


support their pretensions as far as an establishment of 
independence. Brussels is taken by the patriots. The 
National Assembly at Paris are now considered as really 
efficient, and proving themselves in a capacity of doing 
business. They have arranged all matters respecting their 
internal constitution ; and the monied men in France and 
Amsterdam have accommodated their differences with 
Neckar, in such a manner as to afford a well-founded hope 
of a re-establishment of public credit in a tolerable degree. 
A complete establishment cannot be expected from an ex- 
perience of the new Constitution. Yours ever, 

) John Forbes. 

The proceedings of the House of Commons in 
the short session of the year 1790, were peculiar 
and interesting, and were conducted with great 
activity and public spirit. The opposition were 
bold, undaunted, and disinterested, persevering 
in their efforts, and national in their objects ; they 
had acquired strength and numbers, and, perse- 
cuted or rather " victimized" as they were by 
the Chancellor and his party, they found them- 
selves driven to act in concert. They took refuge 
together, and proceeded with renovated vigour. 
Mr. Grattan came forward more avowedly as their 
leader than he had hitherto done. It was, how- 
ever, said their proceedings were the result of 
faction concerted at meetings, clubs,* and taverns, 
and a low species of language was resorted to, 
and applied to them by the party who had ex- 
cluded them from power, and ' 'whose joy, like 

* Lord Clare's speech in the House of Lords. 



their revenge" on this occasion knew neither 
decency nor moderation. 

Mr. Hobart was the secretary. He had been 
brought up in a bad school, — that of the American 
war, where he served in the British army, and 
from thence he came to Ireland. He was ap- 
pointed aid-de-camp to his uncle, then Lord Lieu- 
tenant ; afterwards Secretary to the Marquess of 
Buckingham ; and was now continued in that 
office by his successors. He was a man of excel- 
lent manners, gay, convivial, and affable ; he was 
sensible and agreeable, and mixing with the 
leaders of both parties, contrived by his amiable 
qualities and his social disposition, to acquire a 
certain degree of popularity, — but he was a hard 
governor notwithstanding, and not any friend to 
the Roman Catholics.* 

On the 5th of January, 1790, Lord Westmore- 
land arrived. He came over to Ireland to govern 
by corruption ; he avowed it, and he practised it. 

* In 1794, he went to India as Governor General of Madras. He 
was first married to Miss Adderley, an Irish lady, and afterwards to a 
daughter of Lord Auckland. He held the situation of Clerk of the 
Pleas in the Court of Exchequer, and though an absentee, he received 
the emoluments. This evil of absentee employments was of great mag- 
nitude;— the offices of prothonotaries, Clerk of the Crown, Keeper and 
Filacer of the King's Bench, were held by Lord Henry, and Lord Robert 
Seymour Conway ; the office of Chief Remembrancer of the Exchequer 
was held by the Wellesley family; the entire of the profits of these offices 
were stated at near 50,000/. a-year, drawn from the country for sinecure 
employments, and given to absentees. Junius says, " the people of Ire- 
land have been uniformly plundered and oppressed: 1 


His first act was to treat Lord Charlemont ex- 
ceedingly ill. Lord Charlemont had rendered 
himself obnoxious to Government by the part he 
had taken in favour of the people, particularly by 
his conduct in the Whig club, — accordingly the 
new Viceroy turned him out of the governorship 
of Armagh, or which was the same thing, he ap- 
pointed Lord Gosford joint-governor with him, an 
insult which forced him to resign. 

On the 21st, Parliament was opened with the 
ordinary speech from the throne. On reading 
the passage which declared the intention of the 
Viceroy to uphold the same system of policy as 
his predecessors, Mr. Grattan objected. He 
stated the expenses which had been incurred, — 
the appointment of two additional commissioners 
of revenue, — the appointment of a second counsel 
to those commissioners, — the division of the board 
of stamps and accounts, — and the erection of ten 
commissioners with large salaries. He condemned 
the conduct of the Marquess of Buckingham, the 
effects of whose administration and its repetition 
he pronounced would be fatal to the constitution 
of the country. 

Opposition now commenced a fierce and inces- 
sant contest. The subjects were numerous, their 
grievances great ; but their spirit was great like- 
wise. The various motions that they made were 
as follow : — On the first of February, Mr. Grattan 
moved that the resolutions of the House against 



increasing the number of commissioners of the 
revenue, and dividing the board, be laid before 
the King, "with an address praying that he will 
communicate the names of the persons who re- 
commended the measure." The conduct and ex- 
travagance of the Marquess of Buckingham formed 
the principal subject of debate. The motion was 
lost by 80 to 135. The striking parts of Mr. 
Grattan's speech were as follows : — 

"Mr. Locke, who established and rooted the Revolution 
in the minds of the English, maintains, that an attempt on 
the part of the executive power to corrupt the Legislature, 
is a breach of trust, which if carried into a system, is one 
of the causes of a dissolution of the Government. c The 
executive/ says he, ' acts contrary to its trust when it 
uses the force, the treasure, or the offices of the society, to 
corrupt the representatives, and to gain them over to its 
purpose. To prepare such an assembly, and to endeavour 
to set them up as the real representatives of the people, 
and the law-makers of the society, is surely as great 
a breach of trust, and as perfect a declaration of a design 
to subvert the Government, as can possibly be :' — to which, 
if we add rewards and punishments, visibly employed 
to the same end, what had Mr. Locke thought of your 
policy? — a set of men possessing themselves of civil, mili- 
tary, and ecclesiastical authority, and using it with a fixed 
and malignant intention to corrupt the morals of the people, 
in order to undermine the freedom of the community, and 
to make the nation individually base, in order to make her 
collectively contemptible. 

" Blackstone, having summed up the array of Court 
influence, stops to tremble at it. ' Surely this never could 
have been the design of our patriot ancestors, who abo- 



lished the formidable parts of the prerogative, and by 
an unaccountable want of foresight, established this system 
in their place.' He concludes with a pious wish, that this 
influence may be diminished, and with a parental admoni- 
tion to the youths of England, to guard their country 
against that monster which, in the hands of the present 
Government, shakes this realm — the servile and corrupt 
influence of the Minister. The late Lord Chatham, bend- 
ing over the corrupt decline of England, confesses this 
influence. Give her a more popular representation, pour 
in a new portion of health, to enable her to sustain her 
infirmities. Pour in a new portion of poison, says the Irish 
Minister, that she may sink under the accumulation of her 

" This danger of extravagant influence, the Commons of 
England have confessed. Exasperated by defeat, ex- 
hausted by war, the effect of twelve years' implicit com- 
pliance under that very influence, they at last proclaim, 
' It is true the influence of the Crown is too much ; it 
ought to be diminished.' Here I shall be stopped, and 
told that the fact has failed the prophecy, and that the 
constitution of England has stood ; — but let us not there- 
fore infer that it is not much impaired, nor confound the 
slow decline of a state with the rapid mortality of a man, 
nor forget what mortal symptoms she has given, both when 
the people, as in 1769, appealed to the Crown against their 
Parliament, and when the Crown, as in 1783, appealed 
against Parliament to the people. 

" Let them further recollect, that the constitution of 
Great Britain has been from time to time shocked back to 
her original principle by a number of acts, some of which 
I have referred to ; acts which disable the Crown from 
splitting commissions to multiply placemen ; acts which 
disqualify all persons holding offices created since a cer- 
tain period from sitting in Parliament ; acts which disable 


all commissioners of customs of excise, stamps' collectors, 
> — in short, the whole tribe of the revenue, from sitting in 
Parliament ; acts which disqualify all pensioners during 
pleasure from sitting in Parliament; all pensioners during 
years from sitting in Parliament ; acts which disable the 
Crown from exceeding a certain sum in grants of pensions ; 
acts which disqualify from voting at elections the whole 
tribe of the revenue. 

" Let them further recollect, that there are in England 
certain counteracting causes ; — and first, the majesty of 
the people, a great, authoritative, and imperious public ; 
their voice interferes, their instructions overawe not the 
deliberations of the body, but frequently the deliberations 
of that individual of the body that hesitates between his 
vote and his venality. Let them recollect that there is in 
England such a thing as responsibility ; the public male- 
factor there cannot always retire from public mischief to 
triumphant impunity. 

" Let them recollect further, that in England there 
is a check in great connexions formed on a great public 
creed ; party founded on principle, supported by ambition, 
cemented by honour, and exalting the component parts 
above the dominion of salary, and the impulse of famine, 
political famine, of too many in this country the epidemic 
disease. This has served as a secondary cause of public 
safety ; and whether you call it a higher order of infirmity, 
or a lower order of virtue, has helped to preserve the life, 
or to prolong the euthanasia of the British constitution. 
How far all these causes actually at this time flourish 
in England, I shall not pretend to decide ; but I fear they 
do not exist, or are in danger of being lost in Ireland. 
First contemplate your state, and then consider your 
danger. Above two-thirds of the returns to this House 
are private property — of those returns many actually this 
very moment sold to the Minister; the number of place- 

446 MR. grattan's speech on [chap. XIV. 

men and pensioners sitting in this House equal to near 
one-half of the whole efficient body ; the increase of that 
number within these last twenty years greater than all the 
counties in Ireland. The bills that do exist in England, 
and should have shocked you back to your original prin- 
ciples, and are necessary to purge the public weal, and 
to defend you not only against the Minister, but yourselves, 
— pension bill, place bill, and others, systematically resisted. 
The corruptions these laws would guard against, in a 
most extraordinary manner resorted to by the present 
Ministers of the Crown, and not only resorted to, but made 
the sole instrument of their Government. The laws which 
depart from the first principles of the Constitution, Excise, 
Riot Act, Police Bill, readily adopted, and obstinately 
maintained — the counteracting clauses — the responsibility 
of the Minister a shadow — the majesty of the people, like 
the Constitution, frittered out of your Court — some of the 
populace had gone too far — the Court availed itself of 
popular excesses to cry down constitutional principles; 
they began with a contempt of popularity — they proceeded 
to a contempt of fame, and they now vibrate on the last 
string, a contempt of virtue ; and yet these were checks 
not only in a constitutional public, but in certain connec- 
tions ; these generally supported the Minister, and occa- 
sionally checked his enormities. 

" Against this refuge, — against the power of the Irish 
community in general, and this force in particular, is the 
present policy directed. It is a policy which would govern 
this country by salary distinct from power, or by power 
distinct from responsibility. No sturdy tribune of a con- 
stitutional public, — no check in an independent nobility. 

" I say I have shewn this measure to be a disregard to 
the sense of this House, for the purpose of extending in- 
fluence; this leads me from the particular subject, to the 
general policy ; the nature of this policy I have described « 



the ultimate consequences I shall not now detail, but I 
will mention one which seems to include all: — I know you 
say a union — no, it is not the extinction of the Irish Par- 
liament, but its disgraceful ccntinuation. Parliament, 
under the success of such a project, will live, but live to no 
one useful purpose. The Minister will defeat her attempts 
by corruption, and deter the repetition of her attempts by 
threatening the repetition of the expenses of corruption. 
Having been long the bawd, Corruption will become the 
sage and honest admonitress of the nation. She will advise 
her no more to provoke the Minister to rob the subject ; — 
she will advise her to serve in order to save, — to be a slave 
on the principles of good housewifery. Then will Parlia- 
ment, instead of controlling the Court, administer to its 
licentiousness, provide villas and furniture for the servants 
of the Castle, afford a place army to obnoxious members ; 
accommodate with cruel and contradictory clauses the 
Commissioners of the Revenue, or feed on public rapine 
the Viceroy's clanship ! 

" Parliament, that giant that purged these islands of the 
race of tyrants, whose breed it was the fortune of England 
to preserve, and of Ireland to adopt ; — parliament, whose 
head has for ages commerced with the wisdom of the gods, 
and whose foot has spoken thunder and deposition to the 
oppressor, will, like the sacred giant, stand a public spec- 
tacle shorn of his strength, or rather like that giant be will 
retain his strength for the amusement of his enemies, and 
do feats of ignominious power to gratify an idle and a hos- 
tile court ; and these walls, where once the public weal 
contended, and the patriot strove, will resemble the ruin of 
some Italic temple, and abound not with senators, but with 
animals of prey in the guise of senators, chattering their 
pert debates, and disgracing those seats which once be- 
longed to the people. Here you will stop to consider, and 


demand why all this ? — why this attack on Ireland ? The 
Minister will tell you what caused, but I will tell you what 
contributed — it was impunity — impunity ! You have no 
adequate responsibility in Ireland, and politicians laugh at 
the sword of justice, which falls short of their heads, and 
only precipitates on their reputations. Sir, this country 
has never yet exercised herself in the way of vindictive 
justice. In the case of Strafford she was but an humble 
assistant ; and yet in this country we have had victims — 
the aristocracy at different times has been a victim — the 
whole people of Ireland for almost an entire century were 

a victim ; but Ministers in all the criminal successions- 

here is a chasm, a blank in your history. Sir, you have in 
Ireland no axe, — therefore no good Minister." 

On the 4th of February, Mr. Curran made a 
similar motion with respect to the division of the 
Board of Stamps and Accounts, and the increase 
of salary to the officers. This was lost by 81 
to 141. 

On the 11th of February, Mr. Forbes moved an 
address to his Majesty respecting the expenses 
and revenue of the country, that the pensions 
have been increased upwards of 100,000/. ; that 
since 1787 they had been augmented 12,000/. ; 
and since 1784 upwards of 29,000/. The Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Parnell) 
entered into a defence of these measures. The 
motion was lost by 92 to 136. 

On the 15th, Mr. George Ponsonby moved an 
address to the King, complaining of the public 
expenses of last year, and that many new and 



increased salaries had been annexed to offices 
granted to members of the House. So rapid an 
increase of places, together with the additional 
pensions, could not but alarm them ; and they 
feared his Majesty's servants had abused his con- 
fidence for the purpose of increasing their influ- 
ence. The motion was lost on a division by 87 
to 146. 

The speech which Mr. Parsons (afterwards 
Lord Rosse) made on this occasion was so re- 
markable that it is worth inserting. It shows 
that the complaints against the Government were 
not without a just foundation, when an individual 
who had not been hitherto distinguished by a 
very active opposition to ministers, and who had 
not taken an inimical part in the question of the 
Regency, delivered such unsparing censure upon 
them. He exclaimed : — 

"Who out of Ireland ever hears of Ireland? What 
name have we among the nations of the earth ? Who 
fears us? Who respects us ? What notice have foreign 
states of us? Where are our negociators ? Where are 
our ambassadors ? What treaties do we enter into? What 
alliances do we form? With what nation do we make 
peace or declare war? Are we not a mere cypher in all 
these? and are not these what give a nation consequence 
and glory and fame ? All these are sacrificed to the con- 
nection with England ; absorbed in her f we forego every 
thing that is great and aspiring, and are satisfied with our 
humble and obscure situation ; and what can we get in 
return, or what ought we to get? I say an honest and 




frugal Government, for it is the principal compensation 
that ought to be made to us. To what purpose is it that 
we are free from the expenses of a fleet, or of foreign 
ministers, or royal court, or all the splendid appendages of 
empire, if we are to be as much exhausted by a pilfering, 
jobbing rapine at home ? If we are to have expense, let us 
have empire; or since we are willing to relinquish empire, 
let us be freed from expense. 

" What has been the fate of Ireland from the first me- 
morial we have of its history to the present day? Ante- 
cedent to the reign of Henry II., barbarism, except what 
weak illuminations were cast upon it for a time by monkish 
learning. What has been its fate from thence to the Ameri- 
can war? Ignominious obscurity, — the name of it not to 
be found in the page of history, except where some rebel- 
lion or massacre has brought it into notice. What is its 
situation now? A suburb to England sunk in her shade. 
We are an independent kingdom — true ; we have an im- 
perial crown distinct from England — true ; but it is a meta- 
physical distinction — a mere sport for speculative men — 
nothing in act or efficiency. Who govern us? English 
ministers, or rather the deputies of English ministers — mere 
subalterns in office, who never dare aspire to the dignity of 
any great sentiment of their own. Yet all this we submit 
to — we are satisfied — we are content — and only ask in 
return for an honest and frugal Government. Is it just — 
is it wise — is it safe to deny it? The people of this island 
are growing more enlightened every day, and will know and 
feel their situation: they will do more, they will know and 
feel their power. Near four millions of people, in a most 
defensible country, ought perhaps to be counted, but 
certainly ought not to be insulted with the petty, pilfering, 
jobbing, corrupting tricks, of every deputy of an English 
minister that is sent over here. The people of Ireland 




have the feelings of men y they suffer like men, and they 
may be found to resent like men; but there is an arro- 
gance somewhere that is apt to treat the people of this 
country as if they were a sort of inferior order of beings ; 
and perhaps too many of our sycophant countrymen may 
have contributed to promote this opinion ; but it shall be 
found and felt that this is not the national characteristic, but 
that this island abounds with men of as high minds as any 
nation whatsoever in its vicinity. His Majesty's ministers 
may carry on the Government here for some time as at 
present, repudiating every man of honour and talents ; — 
the base influence of corruption may for a time be sub- 
stituted for both ; it may bear ministers through, in ordinary 
times ; but whenever any day of difficulty or danger arrives, 
then the effects of this debasing system vnll be felt, and may 
be fatal ! 

" To arm a country with power first, and to treat it 
afterwards as if it were impotent, is the most preposterous 
folly. Why was it that the people required those conces- 
sions which were made during the American war ? Be- 
cause they expected to be governed better in consequence 
of them. Do you think then they will be satisfied if they 
are not ? Those concessions on the part of the English 
Parliament, I grant, were as ample as they well could be, 
for they were every thing short of separation. Let minis- 
ters then beware what conclusions they may teach the 
people if they teach them this, that the attainment of 
every thing short of separation will not attain for them 
good Government. 

On the 20th of February, Mr. Grattan moved : 

" That a select committee be appointed to enquire in 
the most solemn manner, whether the late or present ad- 
ministration have entered into any corrupt agreement with 

452 mr. grattan's speech on [chap. XIV. 

any person or persons, to recommend such person or per- 
sons to his Majesty as fit and proper to be made by him, 
peers of this realm, in consideration of such person or 
persons giving certain sums of money, to be laid out in 
procuring the return of members to serve in Parliament, 
contrary to the rights of the people, inconsistent with the 
independency of Parliament, and in violation of the funda- 
mental laws of the land." 

Some passages of his speech on this occasion 
give such a description of the Government, that 
they deserve attention on this ground alone, inde- 
pendent of the beauty of their style and the force 
of their principles. 

" Sir, we persist to combat the project to govern this 
country by corruption. We have hitherto contended 
against those parts of the system which proceeded to un- 
dermine the constitution without an apparent breach of 
the law, and therefore might impose on the public as a 
government by law. Such was the addition of two unne- 
cessary commissioners ; such were the additional salaries 
to four officers of the ordnance ; such, in short, the cre- 
ation of fourteen new parliamentary places, and of eight 
or nine parliamentary pensions, in the course of less than 
twelve months. These measures import their own cri- 
minality, and bespeak on the part of his Majesty's Minis- 
ters, a design to govern this country by sapping the foun- 
dation of her liberty. 

" But there is another part of this project wherein his 
Majesty's Ministers have not only attempted to undermine 
the Constitution, but have actually broken the laws ; for 
that part of the project we conceive his Majesty's Minis- 
ters to be impeachable. Sir, the sale of honours is an 
impeachable offence ; the crime speaks itself. But to 



take the point out of doubt, I will state you a case : the 
Duke of Buckingham, in the reign of Charles the First, 
was impeached on thirteen articles, and the ninth article 
was the sale of honours — the very crime of which the 
Ministers of Ireland have been guilty. He was im- 
peached for the sale of a peerage to Lord Roberts for 
10,000Z. Thus, I infer two things: first, that the Minis- 
ters of this country are guilty of impeachable offences ; 
secondly, that those offences are ripe for parliamentary 

" Give me leave now to dwell a little on the consequence 
of their crimes, and the necessity of bringing the criminals 
to punishment. I shall lay before you their project of 
government. Considering it, first, as an instrument of 
domestic government ; and secondly, as a bond of connec- 
tion. As an instrument of government, it is very powerful 
indeed, for it will make the Minister not only strong, but 
absolute. He will first buy the question, and afterwards 
favour you with the forms of debating it. He will cry up 
Parliament when it is venal ; and cry Parliament down 
when it feels the stings of remorse. He will be soon, 
however, raised above the necessity of those artifices : for 
the ascendency he will obtain, will not only secure a ma- 
jority on all ordinary occasions, but deprive the people of 
the chance of a majority on any, and will procure a Legis- 
lature ready to allow any expense, and overlook any 
crime, and adopt any measure, according as the divan of 
the Castle shall give to its Janissaries here the word of 
command. Thus will this country lose, not indeed the 
existence of Parliament, but whatever can be derived 
from it. 

"The present Administration, therefore, is an enemy to 
the law : first, because it has broken the law; secondly, 
because it has attempted to poison the true sources both of 
legislation and of justice : and however the friends of that 



Administration may talk plausibly on the subject of public 
tranquillity, they are, in fact, the ringleaders of sedition 
placed in authority. Rank majorities may give a nation 
law, but rank majorities cannot give law authority. 

" But there is another circumstance attending the pro- 
ject, which should naturally have weight with Ministers — 
I mean the difficulty of carrying this pernicious project 
into full execution. Do not, gentlemen, imagine that the 
country will at last find them out. We will discover that 
this multiplication of placemen, increase of pension, sale, 
or rather indeed, brokerage of honours, is a conspiracy 
against her — not against the aristocracy, but Ireland. 

If the nature of the measures did not impart their own 
criminality and mischief, yet the conversation of the pro- 
jectors have been full and explanatory on the subject : — 
'Any money for a majority: give us the treasury and we 
buy the Parliament.' But conversations of this sort have 
even entered these walls. ' These new charges are poli- 
tical expedients. Ireland was sold for 1,500,000Z. formerly, 
and if opposition persists, will be sold again.' 

" I do not describe this policy as hostile to Ireland — a 
country you do not love ; but so very hostile to Ireland, as 
to touch even the interest of the British court — a court 
you may not love, but a court you certainly mean to flatter. 

" I say, therefore, the present Ministers of this country 
cannot govern Ireland. They cannot govern Ireland for 
England. I do not call corruption government. They 
have procured for British Government, neither character 
sufficient to command respect, nor revenue sufficient to 
pay the establishment : but then they have gotten other 
strength — they have gotten the support and good will of 
the nation. No, — the loss of the nation's good will is 
synonymous with the loss of reputation. 

" The measures these men have pursued ; the violent 
principles they have advanced, and the tone in which 



they have spoken to this country, must have long lost 
them the opinion of the public. Before this country can 
have any confidence in them, she must lose all confidence 
in herself, and surrender all her tenets, maxims and prin- 
ciples on every constitutional and commercial subject. 
She must forget the Propositions. After an experience of 
years, your country, taking an impartial survey of all your 
offences ; your country, perhaps, in the prodigality of 
mercy, may, if she pleases, forgive, but surely she can 
never trust you. 

"The independent country gentlemen, — have you for- 
gotten them ? No, they can never support a Minister who 
practises extravagance, and professes corruption. Sup- 
porting such a Ministry, they would be country gentlemen 
no longer ; they would be the servants of the Castle out 
of livery. They must see and despise the pitiful policy of 
buying the country gentlemen by an offer to wrap them up 
in the old cast-clothes of the aristocracy. A clumsy 
covering, and a thin disguise, never the object of your 
respect, — frequently the subject of your derision. The 
country gentleman must recollect how seldom he can 
procure even an audience from that bench, except when he 
deserts his cause and his country. Place him on his 
native hills, and he is a protection against the storm; 
restore him to the hot-bed of the Castle, and he de- 

Mr. Grattan's motion was very ably supported 
by the opposition, but was lost by 88 to 144. 

On the 24th of July, Mr. Hartley* brought for- 
ward a motion respecting the police, " that it had 
laid a considerable charge upon the citizens, with- 

* Member for the city of Dublin; a most worthy and public-spirited 
man, who always supported Mr. Grattan and his principles. 



out affording them adequate protection, and tended 
to make the corporation dependent on the Go- 
vernment, and the magistrates less respectable in 
the eyes of the people."* 

On the 26th of February, Mr. Forbes brought 
forward the Place Bill, which was strongly sup- 
ported by Mr. Grattan ; but on the division it was 
defeated by 143 to 96. It was on this occasion 
that Mr. Grattan was obliged to allude to the 
conduct of Lord Fitzgibbon. In a former debate 
the proceedings of Government, in the times of 
the Marquess of Buckingham and his sale of 
peerages, formed the subject of severe animad- 
versions. Lord Fitzgibbon, in a most unparlia- 
mentary manner, took notice of this, quite con- 
trary to the established rule, that the debates and 
proceedings in one House are not to form the 
subject of discussion or animadversion in the 
other; and he inveighed severely against the sen- 
timents expressed by the members of the House 
of Commons. To this Mr. Grattan alluded in the 
following terms : — 

" Sir, I cannot avoid observing that in this day's debate, 
gentlemen on the other side of the House have adopted 

* A committee was granted to enquire into the police. Their report 
was unfavourable to it on the ground of extravagance and inefficiency. 
Among the items appeared the following : " For two inkstands for 
the police 5l. 5s. 6d.; three penknives for the commissioners 2/. 2s. 3d.; 
gilt-edged paper 100/.; Chambers's Dictionary 11/. 7s. 6d." Among 
their books was Beccaria on Crime, with a Commentary from Voltaire. 
Such was the misapplication of public money ! 



a certain tone of power, — I presume in consequence of a 
very indecent and disorderly interposition on the part of 
one who does not belong to this House, though he has 
lately interfered with its proceedings. Sir, I am not un- 
informed to what length that person went within these 
walls, even during the debates of this House. It seems 
to me somewhat strange that gentlemen on the other side 
should dwell so much on the necessity of parliamentary 
decorum, when they have been evidently spirited up by 
an interposition, which in itself was the grossest violation 
of parliamentary decency. Sir, I have been told it was 
said that I should have been stopped — should have been 
expelled the Commons ; should have been delivered up to 
the bai of the Lords for the expressions delivered that 
day. I will repeat what I said on that day. I said that 
his Majesty's Ministers had sold the peerages, for which 
offence they were impeachable. I said they had applied 
the money for the purpose of purchasing seats in the 
House of Commons for the servants or followers of the Castle, 
for which offence I said they were impeachable. I said 
they had done this, — not in one or two, but in several 
instances, for which complication of offences I said his 
Majesty's Ministers were impeachable — as public male- 
factors, who had conspired against the commonweal, the 
independency of Parliament, and the fundamental laws of 
the land ; and I offered and dared them to put this matter 
in a course of enquiry. I added, that I considered them 
as public malefactors whom we were ready to bring to 
justice. I repeat these charges now; and if any thing 
more severe was on a former occasion expressed, I beg to 
be reminded of it, and I will again repeat it. Why do not 
you expel me now ? Why not send me to the bar of the 
House of Lords? Where is your adviser? Going out of 
this House, 1 shall repeat my sentiments, that his Majesty's 


Ministers are guilty of impeachable offences ; and ad- 
vancing to the bar of the Lords, I shall repeat those sen- 
timents : or, if the Tower is to be my habitation, I will 
there meditate the impeachment of these Ministers, and 
return — not to capitulate, but to punish. 

u Sir, I think I know myself well enough to say, that if 
called forth to suffer in a public cause, I shall go fur- 
ther than my prosecutors, both in virtue and in danger/' 

On the 3rd of March, Mr. Grattan brought for- 
ward a bill to prevent revenue officers from voting 
at elections for members to serve in Parliament. 
He succeeded so far as to get it into a committee ; 
but it was ultimately lost by 123 to 81. 

There was likewise a very important subject 
brought forward respecting the liberty of the 
press. In the courts of law there prevailed a 
practice of issuing writs for large sums of money 
in cases of slander ; the party made affidavit that 
they had sustained damage to a certain amount, 
and the Court of King's Bench thereupon issued 
a fiat, in one case marked to the amount of 800/., 
in a second 1,000/., a third 2,000/,, and a fourth 
4,000/. In consequence of this, Mr. Magee, pro- 
prietor of the Evening Post, being unable to pro- 
cure bail, was incarcerated, and remained in jail 
for several months. Mr. Ponsonby brought this 
subject forward in Parliament. He declared this 
practice was most unconstitutional, and a direct 
violation of the Bill of Rights ; that while Mr. 
Hastings, who was accused of plundering India, 


murdering its inhabitants, and rendering the Go- 
vernment corrupt and odious, was only held to 
10,000/. bail. In Ireland, an obscure printer, on 
a simple affidavit, was held to bail for 7,500/. 
He moved that issuing writs from courts of justice 
in actions of slander, where the damages could 
not be fairly ascertained, and holding persons to 
special bail in excessive sums thereon, was illegal 
and subversive of the liberty of the subject. 

Unable to defend the practice of the King's 
Bench, the Attorney-general feebly opposed the 
motion, and merely moved that the Speaker do 
leave the chair. Injustice to the lawyers it must 
be said that they did not very ably defend the 
conduct of the judges. Mr. Ponsonby called Mr. 
Wolfe a miserable Attorney-general, and a slave 
of the administration. The motion was lost by 
125 to 91. Finally, however, the evil was reme- 
died, and the practice abandoned. 

On the 5th of March, Mr. Forbes brought for- 
ward his Pension Bill, but it was lost; the numbers 
being 124 to 96. 

On the 6th, Mr. Curran moved an address to 
the King, setting forth the expenses of the coun- 
try, complaining of the unconstitutional and 
increasing influence of the Government, and the 
improper distribution of place and honour. This 
was seconded by Mr. Ponsonby, but after the 
debate, which lasted until five o'clock on Sunday 
morning, it was lost by 90 to 141. 



Mr. Forbes' Responsibility Bill was then pro- 
posed and lost ; and on the 5th of April this short 
but animated session concluded, and the Parlia- 
ment was dissolved on the 8th. 

The object in dissolving Parliament so speedilj 
was to frustrate any plans the Opposition mighi 
arrange in regard to the approaching elections, 
and to prevent the expression of public opinion 
on the conduct of the administration. The people, 
however, were not insensible to the merits of 
those who supported their cause. In the city of 
Dublin the most independent and respectable of 
the electors assembled and requested Lord Henry 
Fitzgerald (brother of the Duke of Leinster) and 
Mr. Grattan to suffer themselves to be put in 
nomination to represent the city. In their* reply 

* To the Gentlemen, Clergy, Freemen, and Freeholders of 
the City of Dublin, 


We have been called upon by a most numerous and respectable body 
of electors, to offer ourselves to your consideration, for the purpose of 
representing this city in the ensuing Parliament. With sincere thanks, 
we accept the invitation, and request your votes and interest at the next 
general election. We beg leave to assure you, that the advancement of 
the trade and prosperity of this country in general, and of this city in 
particular, shall be the principal object of our attention and exertions. 
But as general declarations of regard for the public welfare are more in- 
telligible and effectual, when exemplified by specific measures, you will 
permit us to mention the following, as some of the objects, which, in all 
situations we shall pursue and support : — A Pension Bill ; a Place Bill ; 
a Bill for the Repeal of the present Police Act ; and a Bill to render the 
Minister of the Crown in Ireland more effectually responsible to the 
Parliament of this realm. 

We beg leave also to assure you, that we shall persist in our endea- 



to this address these individuals specified the 
public measures which they intended to support, 
and which they had in previous sessions recom- 
mended to Parliament. 

The Whig Club also took part in the public 
proceedings, and circulated a declaration* of their 

vours to effect a discontinuance of the new and extraordinary charges 
placed on the establishment by a late administration, and justified and 
supported by the present ; and also to obtain such other measures for 
this country as we have hitherto urged and supported in Parliament. 

Conscious of the sincerity of these assurances, we now solicit your 
suffrages, and if, in the course of a personal application, we should, by 
any accident, omit to pay our respects to every elector, we trust that 
omission will be attributed to the real cause; the extent of this capital, 
und the discharge of our duty in Parliament. 

V\ e are, with the greatest respect and regard, gentlemen, your most 
humble, and most obedient servants, Henry Fitzgerald. 

Henry Grattan. 

* Whig Club. 

Dublin, 13th April, 1790. 

At a meeting of the Whig Club, held this day, the following resolu- 
tions and declarations were unanimously agreed to : — 

Resolved, that, whereas this society did form itself into a body, on 
certain public principles, and for public defence, at a time when attacks 
were made on public liberty, and doctrines advanced inconsistent with 
our free Constitution, and tending to deprive us of the blessings of the 
same; and whereas, from the proceedings of administration during the 
late session of Parliament, from the support by them given to the cor- 
rupt charges on our establishment, from the principles by them advanced 
in support of those corrupt charges, from the resistance by them given 
to every constitutional measure, tending to restrain the growth of ex- 
pense and influence, from the sale of the honours of one House, to gain 
an unconstitutional and corrupt influence in the other, and from their 
notorious attempts to influence at this present time, the election of the 
people, we have every reason to be convinced that the same system is 
pursued, and the same designs are entertained. 

■v we, in defence of our liberty, and for the fulfilling the objects of 


opinions, and the objects they had in view, in 
which they state their apprehension that ministers 
meant to deprive the country of the blessings of 
her free constitution. The events which subse- 
quently occurred have confirmed the justness of 
their views, and the foresight which enabled them 
so early to penetrate the designs of the Govern- 

The popular party succeeded in the city, and 
returned Lord Henry Fitzgerald and Mr. Grattan 
by a majority of 859 over Alderman Exshaw and 

our former resolutions, do declare that we, notwithstanding the ill suc- 
cess attending the efforts of the minority in the late Parliament, will 
persevere ; that we will persist in the principles we have published, 
and in the measures which we have deemed necessary to carry these 
principles into execution, and particularly the following : — A Pension 
Bill ; a Place Bill ; a Bill to repeal or modify the Dublin Police, and to 
restrain the arbitrary extent of the County Police, now depending on 
the will of the Minister ; a Bill for disqualifying certain descriptions of 
persons dependent on Government from voting for members to serve in 
Parliament ; a Bill for rendering the Ministers of the Crown responsible, 
and also such proceedings as may do away the late unnecessary charges 
on the establishment, already mentioned in our former resolutions. And 
whereas, in addition to the grievances in those resolutions recited, new 
injuries have since been inflicted, and the personal freedom of the sub- 
ject, and the liberty of the press, have been infringed on, and the in- 
fringements screened from inquiry by the Ministers of the Crown, com- 
bining to cover by corrupt influence, arbitrary and illegal judgments : 
we do resolve to pursue such steps as may secure the subjects of this 
country against similar oppression. 

Resolved, that a committee be appointed to correspond with such 
Whig Clubs, as are or may be hereafter established in this kingdom, for 
the purpose of promoting the princples of our institution. 

Signed by Order, 
Thomas Conolly, Sec. 



Alderman Sankey, who opposed them under the 
patronage of the Government.* This triumph of 
independence, which was new to the city of Dublin, 
and which they had not witnessed since the days 
of Dr. Lucas, was celebrated with great rejoicings. 
The popular members were chaired with every 
demonstration of joy. The minor corporations 
and trades assembled and went in grand proces- 
sion, exhibiting the insignia of their trades in the 
colours of their several guilds, and carrying the 
declaration of the public sentiments on highly 
ornamented and richly decorated banners. "Fitz- 
geraid and liberty" — "Grattan and independence" 
resounded through the capital ; medals, ribbons, 
and flags, with these and similar mottos, were 
struck off on the occasion, and at night the city 
was splendidly illuminated in honour of the popu- 
lar triumph. 

Two other individuals, whose names appear 
in history, (but in a very different manner,) 
began their life at this period, and took their 
seats for the first time in parliament — Arthur 
Wesley -\ and Arthur O'Conor. Both commenced 
by supporting government. Arthur O'Conor se- 
conded the address to the Earl of Westmoreland ; 

* The numbers were — 

For Lord Henry Fitzgerald . . ] 695 
Rt. Hon. Henry Grattan . 1695 
Lord Mayor (Exshaw) . . 836 
Alderman Sankey . . . 776 

| So the name was then spelled, but afterwards Wellesley. 


Arthur Wesley was aide-de-camp at the castle, 
and supported shortly afterwards a similar address 
of praise to the same Lord-lieutenant. 

One of the most remarkable elections which 
occurred at this time, was that of the county of 
Down, where Robert Stewart, afterwards Lord 
Castlereagh, set up on the popular interest, op- 
posed to the Hillsborough family. The election 
lasted the unconscionable length of fifty-four 
days ; there being no restriction then as to the 
time of the polling. This young aspirant to 
popularity took upon the hustings a variety of 
pledges — to promote a bill of reform in parliament; 
to exclude placemen and pensioners ; to prevent 
revenue officers from voting at elections ; to render 
the servants of the crown responsible for the ex- 
penditure of the public money ; and to protect the 
subject against arbitrary and excessive bail and 
the unconstitutional power of attachment. Such 
were Mr. Stewart's promises ; but a few years 
afterwards he turned a recreant ; his pledges were 
forgotten ; his promises broken ; he professed a 
principle for an election, he abandoned it for an 
office. And this man, who began thus early so 
liberal a course, terminated his Irish career by 
destroying the parliamentary ' independence and 
extinguishing the constitution of his country. 
Dryden says : — 

" Renegadoes who ne'er turn by halves, 
Are bound in conscience to be double knav's." 

The following was his address : — 

chap, xiv.] 




Gentlemen, — You have chosen me one of your repre- 
sentatives in Parliament, and to your partiality I am 
indebted for the highest distinction you can confer. I 
accept the trust with diffidence, not with exultation. My 
happiness would have been complete if the associate of 
my pursuits had been a partaker in my success. He pre- 
ferred a manly adherence to the public cause we were 
embarked in, to an unprincipled competition with his 
friend ; and to his firmness I owe an exclusive zealous 
support from him, the more honourable to his feelings, as 
it militated against the interests of his ambition. 

I speak the language of my heart, when I declare, that 
I derive more real satisfaction and glory from the testi- 
mony of affection, zeal, and attachment, which I have 
received from the noble, the virtuous, and the independent, 
durins; the course of this arduous contest, than from the 
success with which it has been ultimately crowned. To 
talk to you then of duty, were to hold a language inade- 
quate to my feelings ! / love the cause of the people. I 
revere the Constitution ; and I will maintain and defend 
both, with that ardour of affection which a youthful heart 
dictates, and which your generous confidence demands. 

While I thus indulge in the natural expressions of gra- 
titude and attachment, inspired by your goodness, I cannot 
refrain from paying a tribute of justice to the respectable 
character who presided during this tedious conflict. To 
say that he was impartial, would assign to his merit a 
description infinitely below his deserts. The influence of 
his attachments yielded to the impulse of his duty ; and I 
discovered, in all his proceedings, in the most trying 
moments of party contest, the honour of a soldier, and the 




dignity of a man. I have the honour to be, gentlemen, 
your devoted and obliged servant, 

Robert Stewart.* 

Mount Pleasant, July 24, 1790. 

* The numbers stood thus — 

Lord Hillsborough , . 2984 
Hon. Robt. Stewart . . 2793 
Hon. E. Ward . . .2591 
Geo. Matthews . . . 1808 
It is singular how these families began and ended their political 
career in Ireland. The Downshire family commenced strong with the 
court, and concluded with the people; the Stewarts began with the 
people, concluded with the court, and voted for the Union 1 




Those Members who never took their seats in the Convention are in 

Thus marked * were confined by illness, and eould not attend their 
duty in the Convention. 

Thus marked t opposed the plan of Reform in the Convention. 

Thus marked $ appeared luke-warm in the Convention. 

Thus marked ** relinquished their patronage of rotten boroughs for 
the public benefit. 

Province of Ulster. 

County of Antrim. 
Right Hon. Col. John O'Neill, Col. T. Morris Jones, 
Hon. Col. Rowley, Captain Todd Jones. 

Lieut. -Col. Sharman, 

County of the Town of Carrickfergus. 
Rev. Mr. Bruce, Mr. Henry Joy, junior. 

County of Armagh. 
General Earl of Charlemont,** Lieut.-Col. Right Hon. Wm. 
Colonel Right Hon. Sir Capel Brownlow, 

Molyneux, Bart. Lieut.-Col. Sir Wm. Synnott, 

Capt. James Dawson. 

County of Berry. 
Lord Bishop of Derry, Colonel Right Hon. Edward 

Colonel Right Hon. Thomas Carey, 

Conolly, Captain Ferguson. 

Captain Leckey, 

H H 2 



County of Cavan. 
Captain F. Saunderson, Hon. J. J. Maxwell, 

Lord Farnham,f Capt. Henry Clements, 

General G. Montgomery, 

County of Down. 
Colonel Right Hon. Robert Major Crawford, 

Stewart, Colonel Patrick Savage, 

Capt. Matthew Forde, junior. Captain Gawn Hamilton. 

County of Fermanagh. 
Colonel Irvine, Jason Hazard, Esq. 

Col. Sir A. Brooke, Bart. Captain James Armstrong. 
Captain A. C. Hamilton, 

County of Donegal. 
Colonel A. Montgomery, Col. Robert M'Clintock, 

Colonel John Hamilton, Lieut. -Col. Charles Nesbitt 

Lieut. -Col. A. Stewart, 

County of Monaghan. 
Col. Char. Pow. Leslie, Captain William Forster, 

Colonel Francis Lucas, Captain James Hamilton. 

Colonel J. Montgomery, 

County of Tyrone. 
Colonel Stewart, Lieut,-Col. Charleton, 

Lieut.-Col. Montgomery, Captain Eccles. 
Col. James Alexander, 

Province of Connaught. 

County of Galway. 
Col. Perse, Major Wm. Burke, 

Edmond Kirwan, Esq. Col. Walter Lambert. 

Peter D'Arcy, Esq. 

County of Leitrim. 
Col. Latouche, Col. Cullen, 

Col. Tenison, Col. Crofton. 

Col. Peyton. 

County of Mayo. 
Col. Sir H. L. Blosse, Bart. Col. Edmond Jordan, 
Col. Dom. G. Browne, Col. Patrick Randell M'Don- 

Valentine Blake, Esq. nell. 


County of Roscommon. 
Col. Arthur French, Col. Christopher Lyster 

Captain Edward Crofton, Counsellor Dennis Kelly. 
Col. Maurice Mahon, 

County of Sligo. 
Right Hon. Gen. Hen. King, Robert Lyons, Esq. 
Right Hon. Joshua Cooper, Major George Dodwell. 
Col. 0'Hara,f 

County of the Town of Galway. 
Col. Flood,** Major Browne, 

Counsellor Blossett, Counsellor Martin Kirwan. 

Lieut.-Col. French, 

Province of Leinster. 

County of Carlow. 
Col. Bagenal, Col. Rochfort, 

Lieut.-Col. Sir Charles Bur- Captain Stewart, 
ton, Bart. Rev. Mr. Ryan. 

County of the City of Dublin. 
Col. Sir Edward Newenhara, Captain Warren, 

Knt. Captain Cornwall, 

Lieut.-Col. Graydon, Benjamin Wills, Esq. 

County of Dublin. 
Col. Sir J. A. Johnston, Bt. Captain Baker, 
Col. Sir J. S. Tynte, Bart. Major Verschoyle. 
Col. Joseph Deane, 

County of the Town of Drogheda. 
Col. Wm. Meade Ogle, Col. H. M. Lyons. 

Queen s County. 
Col. John Warburton, Col. Charles White, 

Col. Joseph Palmer, Captain James Stephens. 

Col. Luke Flood, 

County of Louth. 
Lieut.-Col. Thomas Lee, Lieut. J. Wm. Foster, 

Major Wm. Sheil, Captain Zach. Maxwell. 

Captain Thomas Read, 



County of Meath. 
Col. Baron Dillon, Captain Ruxton, 

Captain Forbes, Captain Finlay. 

Captain Trotter, 

County of Wicklow. 
Col. Westby, Col. Saunders, 

Col. Hayes, Col. the Earl of Aldborough.** 

Col. Nixon, 

County of Westmeatk. 
Hon. Col. Rochfort, Lieut.-Col. William Thomas 

Captain Lyons, Smyth, 
Hon. Captain Moore, Col. Clibborn* 

County of Kildare. 
John Wolfe, Esq. Maurice Keating, Esq. 

Honourable John Bourke, Michael Aylmer, Esq. 
Richard Neville, Esq. 

County of Wexford. 
General George Ogle,| Richard Neville, Esq. 

Sir Vesey Colclough, Bt.** Colonel Hatton.J 
Lord Viscount Valentia, 

County of Longford. 
R. L. Edgeworth, Esq. Colonel Sir William Gleadowe 

Major Fox, Newcomen, Bart. 

Major Sandys* Colonel Nesbitt. 

King's County. 
General Sir William Parsons, Colonel C. W. Bury, 

Bart. Colonel Jonathan Darby, 

Colonel John Lloyd, Colonel James F. Rolleston. 

County of Kilkenny. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Knares- Captain Helsham, 

borough, Captain Elliott, 

Major Wemyss, Counsellor Lockington. 

County of the City of Kilkenny. 
Colonel Thomas Butler, Lieutenant-Colonel Mossoro.. 



Province of Munster. 

County of Cork. 
Right Hon. Lord Kingsbo- Colonel Roche, 

rough, Sir John Conw. Colt hurst, Bt. 

Fr. Bernard, Esq.** Major Thomas Fitzgerald. 

County of the City of Cork. 
Colonel Bousfield, Richard Fitton, Esq. 

Colonel Bagwell, Colonel R. Longfeld. 

Richard Moore, Esq. 

County of Clare. 
Colonel Sir H. Dillon Massey, Colonel Blood, 

Bart. Major Stackpole, 

Colonel Edward Fitzgerald, Colonel Francis Macnamarar 

County of Kerry. 
General Sir Barry Denny, Bt. Colonel Gunn, 
Richard Townshend Herbert, Robert Day, Esq. X 
Esq. Colonel Mahony. 

County of Limerick. 
Honourable Colonel Hugh Colonel John Fitzgerald, 

Massey,** Major Powell, 

Colonel Richard Bourke, Major Croker. 

County of the City of Limerick. 
Colonel Thomas Smyth, Major Hart* 

Colonel Edmond H. Pery, Henry D'Esterre, Esq. 
Colonel Prendergast, 

County of Tipperary. 
Thomas Hackett, Esq. Colonel Sir William Barker, 

Colonel Daniel Toler, Captain Alleyn. 

Major Edward Moore, 

County of Waterford. 
John Congreve, Esq. S. J. Newport, Esq. 

Sir Richard Musgrave, John Kaine, Esq. 

Thomas Christmas, Esq. 

County of the City of Waterford. 
Captain Rob. S. Carew, Counsellor William Morris, 

Captain H. Alcock, Captain Dobbyn. 

Captain Bolton, 




IRELAND, 1783. 

County or Antrim 
Contains 1 10,92-0 inhabitants, 3500 whereof are electors, 
with five boroughs, viz. : — 

Antrim, contains 1500 inhabitants ; the right of suffrage or 
return of members is vested in the Protestant inhabitants at 
large, commonly called potwalloppers, at present about 250. 
The Earl of Massareene proprietor of the soil. 

Belfast, 15,000 inhabitants; the electors consist of a so- 
vereign and 12 burgesses, 5 of whom are only resident. The 
Earl of Donegall patron. 

Lisburn, 2,500 inhabitants ; electors, the Protestant inhabi- 
tants at large, or potwalloppers, consisting of about 400. The 
Earl of Hertford proprietor of the soil. 

Randalstown, 500 inhabitants ; electors, the Protestant inha- 
bitants at large, or potwalloppers, about 80. The Right Hon. 
John O'Neill proprietor of the soil. 

County of the Town of Carrickfergus, 3225 inhabitants ; 
electors, 900, being the freemen and freeholders ; and most of 
the inhabitants are made free when at age. Proprietor of the 
soil the Earl of Donegall. 

County of Armagh 
Contains 84,000 inhabitants, 2,400 whereof are electors, with 
two boroughs, viz. 

Armagh contains 515 families ; electors, a sovereign and 12 
burgesses. His Grace the Primate patron. 

Charlemont contains 90 families; electors a portrieve and 12 
burgesses. His Excellency General Earl Charlemont patron, 
who sacrificed his claim of patronage at the shrine of public 
freedom in Convention. 

County of Carlow 
Contains 34,176 inhabitants, and 2 boroughs, viz. 
Carlow, about 4,000 inhabitants; electors a sovereign and 12 
burgesses. William Burton, Esq. patron. 



Old Leighlin; electors, a bailiff and 12 burgesses, all 
clergymen and non-residents. The Bishop of Leighlin and 
Ferns patron. 

County of Cavan 

Contains 68,000 inhabitants, 1,850 whereof are freeholders, 
with 2 boroughs, namely, 

Belturbet contains about 500 inhabitants; electors, a provost 
and 12 burgesses, very few of whom are residents. Lord Bel- 
more patron. 

N.B. This claim of patronage was lately purchased from the 
Earl of Lanesborough for 8,700/., and at another sale is said to 
have brought 11,000/. 

Cavan, 700 inhabitants ; electors, a sovereign, 12 burgesses 
and honorary freemen, very few residents. The Clements and 
Xesbitts patrons. 

County of Clare 

Contains 66,000 inhabitants, 1,000 whereof are freeholders, 
and 848 polled at last election, with 1 borough, viz.! 

Ennis, about 7,000 inhabitants; electors, a provost and 12 
burgesses. Patrons, Lord Conyngham aud Sir Lucius O'Brien — 
a venal and rotten borough, having been sold in the last and 
present Parliaments. 

County of Cork 
Contains 250,000 inhabitants, near 3,000 whereof are free- 
men, with 11 boroughs, viz. 

Youghall has a mayor, bailiffs, burgesses, and freemen, most 
of the latter residing in Carbery, 60 miles from Youghall. No 
freemen have been latterly made. The mayor and majority of 
the burgesses who elect are under the influence of Lord 

Castle-Martyr, a very small town ; electors, a portrieve and 
12 burgesses, mostly non-residents. Proprietor of the soil and 
patron, Lord Shannon. 

Middleton, a very small town ; electors, a portrieve and 12 
burgesses, 7 whereof only are extant. Proprietor of the soil 
and patron, Lord Viscount Middleton. 

Rathcormuck, a very small town ; electors, the Protestant 



inhabitants at large, 7 whereof only voted on last election, 
except those resident in one street lying in its centre, which, by 
a former Parliament, was voted out of the town ; but in defiance 
of which vote, the said street maintains its situation, though it 
could not its privileges. 

Mallow ; electors, the freeholders of the manor, containing 
about 2,000 acres, but most of the voters reside within the 
town ; the property of the soil in various hands. Principal 
patrons, the Jephson family. 

Doneraile ; electors, the mesne freeholders of the manor, 
containing about 2,000 acres. Proprietor of the soil and 
patron, Lord Doneraile. 

Charleville, a large and populous town ; but none of the in- 
habitants permitted to vote ; electors were formerly a sovereign, 
12 burgesses and freemen, but there are now only 5 burgesses 
in being, which constitute the voters. Patron was Earl of Cork, 
but the claim of patronage or nomination is said to have been 
lately sold to Lord Shannon. 

Kinsale, a sea-port town ; electors, a provost, 12 burgesses 
and freemen, most of whom reside in the province of Ulster — 
the patron being Lord Clifford. 

Bandon-bridge, about 7,000 inhabitants ; electors, a so- 
vereign, 12 burgesses, 12 common council, and about 50 free- 
men. Patrons, the Duke of Devonshire and Mr. Bernard, 
which latter sacrificed his claim at the altar of public freedom in 

Cloghnakilty ; electors, burgesses, and freemen, 5 whereof 
only voted at last election. Proprietor of the soil and patron, 
Lord Shannon. 

Baltimore, a very small poor town ; electors, Protestant inha- 
bitants at large, commonly called potwalloppers, being tenants 
at will, and the last election being a contested one, only 11 
voted. Proprietor of the soil and patron, Sir John Freke, Bart. 
There was formerly a charter to this borough, which the late Sir 
John Freke destroyed. 

County of the City of Cork, which, as to extent, is a circle, 
the diameter whereof is 6 miles, consequently the circumference 



18 miles. The franchise of returning members to Parliament is 
vested in the freemen and freeholders. Every eldest son of a 
freeman is entitled to his freedom on attaining the age of 21 
years. Every person who has served seven years to a freeman 
is also entitled. There is vested in a particular body of men, 
called the common-council, a right of originating all orders for 
making new freemen, but such order is not conclusive until 
approved of by the freemen in a Court of D'Oyer Hundred; 
however, the common-council evade this reference to a Court of 
D'Oyer Hundred, under colour of a bye-law, and claim a right, 
which they constantly exercise, of admitting to the freedom of 
the city, without the approbation of this court, every man who 
is an Esquire, by which mode of admission several persons, 
not resident, exercise the franchise of voting for members of 

The number of freemen and freeholders who voted on the last 
election were near 1,200, and the number of inhabitants are at 
least 100,000. 

County of Donegall 

Contains 66,720 inhabitants, 2,500 whereof are electors; and 
the following 5 boroughs : — 

St. Johnston, 150 inhabitants; electors, a provost and 12 
burgesses, all non-residents. Patron, Lord Clonmore. 

Lifford, 200 inhabitants ; electors, a provost and twelve bur- 
gesses, all non-residents, except one, who is a publican. Patron, 
Lord Erne. 

Donegall, 300 inhabitants ; electors, a provost and 12 bur- 
gesses, all non-residents, except one. Patron, Lord Arran. 

Bally shannon, 700 inhabitants; electors, a provost and 12 
burgesses, all non-residents, except one. Patron, Right Hon. 
Thomas Connolly. 

Killybegs, 300 inhabitants; electors, a provost and 12 bur- 
gesses, all non-residents. Patron, Right Hon. William Burton 

County of Down 
Contains 27,367 houses ; its inhabitants, allowing 5 to each 
house, 136,835 ; electors at present registered, 6,000, but will 



shortly increase very considerably. Has the following 6 bo- 
roughs : — 

Bangor, about 500 inhabitants; electors, a provost and 12 
burgesses, mostly non-residents. Proprietors of the soil, Lord 
Bangor and Mr. Ward. Patrons, Lord Bangor and the Carrick 

Downpatrick, 3,000 inhabitants ; electors, the Protestant in- 
habitants at large, or potwalloppers, about 250. Proprietor of 
the soil and patron, Lord Clifford. 

Hillsborough, about 700 inhabitants ; electors, a provost and 
12 burgesses. Proprietor of the soil and patron, Lord Hills- 

Newry, inhabitants about 10,000; electors, the Protestant 
inhabitants at large, or potwalloppers, being between 600 and 
700. The proprietors of the soil, Mr. Needham and Lord Hills- 
borough. The seneschal of the manor holds the election. 

Killileagh, very few inhabitants ; electors, a provost and 12 
burgesses, mostly non-residents. Proprietors of the soil, Sir 
John Blackwood and Mr. Hamilton ; patron, Sir John Black- 

Newtown- Ards, about 1,500 inhabitants ; electors, a provost 
and 12 burgesses, all non-residents except the provost. Proprie- 
tors of the soil, Mr. Stewart ; patron, Mr. Ponsonby. 

County of the Town of Drogheda, a large and populous 
town ; the electors are the freemen and freeholders, consisting 
of about 500 ; — a free town. 

County of Dublin 

Contains about 56,800 inhabitants, 1,200 of whom are free- 
holders, and the following boroughs. — N.B. The commissioners 
of the revenue have a very great share of influence in this 
county, on account of the many revenue officers they oblige to 
obtain freeholds. 

Swords, governed by a portrieve, who is the returning officer ; 
the electors, the Protestant inhabitants at large, or potwallop- 
pers, about 160. The elections in this town afford scenes of 
the greatest corruption ; the barony well inhabited by persons of 
independent properties, and Mr. Beresford's influence (a com- 
missioner of the revenue) generally prevails. 



Newcastle, a small town ; electors, a portrieve and 12 bur- 
gesses, for the most part non-residents. The inhabitants have 
a right to make freemen, which is not exercised. Patron, J. 
Latouche, Esq. The barony well inhabited by persons of inde- 
pendent properties. 

University of Dublin ; electors, 70 scholars and 22 fellows, 
in all 92, who cannot be corrupted, even by the present pro- 

Dublin, about 300,000 inhabitants; electors, the freemen 
and freeholders, about 4,000 ; — a free city. The board of 24 
aldermen, who were in general very corrupt, have made 
several attempts to impose the members, but were successfully 
opposed by the spirit of the independent citizens. 

County of Fermanagh 

Contains about 30,000 inhabitants, 2,537 whereof polled as 
freeholders on last election ; has but one borough, namely, 

Inniskillen, inhabitants about 1,000 ; the corporation consists 
of 14 burgesses, a provost, a recorder, and an unlimited number 
of freemen, who have estates in themselves that go to repair the 
market-house, pave the streets, &c. ; but these freemen are not 
permitted to vote ; and only two of the burgesses and the provost 
reside in the town. 

County of Galway 

Contains 166,249 inhabitants, about 700 whereof are elec- 
tors ; and the three following boroughs : — 

Tuam, 3,150 inhabitants ; electors, a sovereign and 12 bur- 
gesses ; — a venal and rotten borough under the patronage of 
Mr. Bingham. 

Athenry, 380 inhabitants; electors, a portrieve, 12 burgesses, 
the freemen and freeholders, but there are not now more than 
two freemen or freeholders, and but one of the burgesses is 
resident ; — a very rotten borough, under the patronage of Mr. 

County of the Town of Galway, 12,600 inhabitants ; elec- 
tors, the mayor, sheriffs, 101 burgesses, 40 freeholders, 295 
freemen admitted by the mayor on the late election ; also 130 
under the charter of 29 Car. II., the new rules and the act 



of 4 Geo. I., commonly known by the name of " The Galway 
Act Men." The influence of Denis Daly, of Dunsandle, and 
Denis Bowes Daly, Esq., has latterly became so great, as to 
give them a patronage over this town, which is in every other 
respect truly independent. 

County of Kerry 

Contains about 75,000 inhabitants, 1,000 whereof are elec- 
tors, and the three following boroughs : — 

Ardfert, a borough by prescription, not 100 inhabitants ; 
electors, a portrieve, 12 burgesses and honorary freemen, in all 
at present 18. The proprietor of the soil and patron, Lord 

Dingle, an ancient borough by prescription, but accepted a 
charter from James I., 800 inhabitants; electors, under that 
charter, a sovereign, 12 burgesses and honorary freemen, in the 
whole at present 150, 2 of whom only are resident in the town, 
and not more than 10 in the country. The proprietor of the 
soil and patron, Mr. Townshend. 

Tralee, about 1,200 inhabitants ; electors, a provost and 12 
burgesses. Proprietor of the soil and patron, Sir Barry Denny, 

N.B. This town never sent members to Parliament until it 
was incorporated by a charter of James I. 

County of Kaldare 

Contains 49,968 inhabitants, and the following four bo- 
roughs : — 

A thy, 900 inhabitants ; electors, a few burgesses and free- 
men. Under the influence of patron, Duke of Leinster. 

Harristown, totally uninhabited ; electors, a few burgesses 
and a returning officer, all of course, not residents. Patron, 
Duke of Leinster. 

Kildare, 600 inhabitants ; electors, 12 burgesses, a returning 
officer, and a few freemen, under the influence of patron, 
Duke of Leinster. 

Naas, 1,100 inhabitants ; electors, a few burgesses and free- 
men, under the influence of patron, Lord Mayo. 



County of Kilkenny 

Contains 86,574 inhabitants, 1,050 whereof are electors, and 
the following five boroughs : — 

Thomastown, 1,000 inhabitants; electors, a sovereign, recor- 
der, and 2 portrieves ; the number of freemen or burgesses (if 
any) not known ; — a venal rotten borough, under the immediate 
influence of patron, Lord Clifden. 

Gowran, 780 inhabitants ; electors, a portrieve, recorder, and 
town clerk ; the number of freemen and burgesses (if any) not 
known ; — a venal rotten borough, under the influence of patron, 
Lord Clifden. 

Innistioge, 500 inhabitants ; electors, a sovereign and 12 
burgesses. Patrons, representatives of William Tighe, Esq. 

Knocktopher , 200 inhabitants ; right of election in the Pro- 
testant inhabitants at large, or pot walloppers, but only one 
is allowed the privilege to vote. Patron, Sir Hercules Lang- 
rishe, Bart. 

Callan, 1,500 inhabitants; electors cannot at present be 
ascertained, or the constitution of the borough, the patronage 
having been long in dispute between Henry Flood, Esq., and 
the family of the Agars. 

County of the City of Kilkenny, 13,865 inhabitants ; elec- 
tors, by the old charter, consist of a mayor, 2 sheriffs, 18 alder- 
men, and the commons at large ; but by a bye-law, the mayor, 
2 sheriffs, 18 aldermen, and 36 of the commons, are constituted 
to do all corporate acts, whereby leading men, by undue in- 
fluence over the majority of the above-mentioned number, and 
taking advantage of the said bye-law, have transferred the 
power of electing members to strangers and occasional freemen, 
there appearing on the book lists of freemen to the amount of 
fourteen hundred, of whom 200 only are residents and free- 
holders. This city also contains 

St. Canice, alias Irishtown ; 3,000 inhabitants; a borough 
by prescription. Property for the most part held under bishops' 
leases. Electors, a portrieve, 12 burgesses and freemen. The 
freeholders or inhabitants are not permitted to vote, and no 
burgesses or freemen are made but such as are nominated and 
approved of by patron, Bishop of Ossory. 



King's County 
Contains 48,000 inhabitants, 900 whereof are electors, and 
two boroughs. 

Banagher ; electors, a sovereign, 12 burgesses, and very few 
freemen, under the influence of — Proprietor of the soil and 
patron, Denis Bowes Daly, Esq. 

Philipstown ; electors, a sovereign, 12 burgesses, and a few 
freemen, who are made by the sovereign and burgesses. Pro- 
prietors of the soil, Lords Belvedere and Molesworth ; patron, 
Lord Belvedere. 

County of Leitrim 

Contains 35,280 inhabitants, 1,076 whereof are electors, and 
the two following boroughs : — 

Car rick-on- Shannon, 400 inhabitants; electors, 13 burgesses, 
all non-residents, and who supply their own vacancies. Pro- 
prietor of the soil, Col. St. George ; patron, Lord Leitrim. 

N.B. There were freemen by the charter, but none of whom 
are now extant. 

Jamestown, a wretched depopulated village, formerly a town ; 
electors, 13 burgesses, only one resident. Proprietor of the 
soil, Lord Mountrath ; patrons, Gilbert King, of Charlestown, 
and John King, of Fosbane, County Roscommon, Esq. 
County of Limerick 

Contains 120,000 inhabitants, 1,500 whereof are electors, and 
the two following venal and rotten boroughs : — 

Askeaton ; electors, a sovereign and 12 burgesses. Patrons, 
Lord Carrick and the Hon. Hugh Massey, which latter sacri- 
ficed his private interest on the altar of public liberty, in the 

Kilmallock ; electors, a sovereign and 12 burgesses. Patron, 
Right Hon. Silver Oliver. 

County of the City of Limerick, above 40,000 inhabitants ; 
electors, the freeholders and freemen, amounting to many hun- 
dreds ; the freemen are admitted by the mayor and common 
council, consisting of a great number of aldermen and bur- 

County of Londonderry 
Contains 99,000 inhabitants, and the following boroughs : — 



Coleraine ; electors, a mayor, 12 aldermen and 24 burgesses, 
all non-residents, save the mayor. Patrons, Earl of Tyrone, and 
Right Hon. Richard Jackson. 

City of Londonderry ; electors, 700, consisting of a mayor, 
aldermen, common council; and freemen, the latter mostly 
absentees, and made by corporation. 

Newtown- Limavady , a venal and rotten borough ; electors, 
12 burgesses and a returning officer, all non-residents, under the 
direct influence of — Patron, Right Hon. Thomas Conolly. 
County of Longford 

Contains 40,000 inhabitants, 700 whereof are electors, and 
four boroughs. 

Longford, electors, a sovereign, burgesses and freemen ; the 
freedom nearly extinct, and burgesses non-residents ; a venal 
borough, entirely at the disposal of — Patron, Lord Longford. 

Lanesborough, electors, a few burgesses, mostly non-residents, 
a venal borough, under the control of — Patron, Mr. Dillon, of 

Granard, a manor, the electors, about 50 freemen and free- 
holders ; a venal borough, under control of — Proprietors of the 
soil and patrons, Mr. Greville and Mrs. M'Cartney. 

St. Johnstown, electors, the burgesses, all non-residents, and 
freemen, mostly decayed ; a venal borough, at the absolute dis- 
posal of— Patron, Lord Granard. 

County of Louth 

Contains 46,446 inhabitants, and the following four bo- 
roughs : — 

Dundalk, 5000 inhabitants ; electors, 16 burgesses and 700 
freemen, 100 whereof are disputed with Earl Clanbrassil, who 
claims the patronage by the remaining 616 electors, who are 
struggling for their withheld franchises. 

Dunleer, 400 inhabitants; electors, a portrieve, 12 burgesses 
and about 30 freemen, under the influence of— Patrons, Right 
Hon. John Foster, and Henry Coddington, Esq. 

Ardee, 2500 inhabitants ; electors, a portrieve, 24 burgesses, 
and above 80 freemen and common council. This borough 



often contested, but the patronage now pretty well established 
in John and Charles Ruxton, Esqrs. 

Carlinyford, 1200 inhabitants ; electors, a portrieve, 12 
burgesses, and some freemen and common council, pretty 
similar to Ardee. Patrons, Robert Ross and Ross Moore, 

County of Mayo 
Contains 120,084 inhabitants, 1000 whereof are electors, and 
one borough, 

Castlebar, 4230 inhabitants ; electors, a portrieve and 12 
burgesses, all non-residents. Proprietor of the soil and patron, 
Lord Lucan. 

County of Meath 
Contains 46,900 inhabitants, 1200 whereof are electors, and 
6 boroughs. 

Trim, 2000 inhabitants ; electors, a sovereign, 12 burgesses, 
and about 300 freemen, under the direct influence of — Patron, 
Lord Mornington. 

Athboy, 1200 inhabitants; a manor town, the property of 
Lord Darnley ; the tenants of the manor only have votes, and 
the Darnley family always appoint the returning officer ; a 
venal borough, although Sir B. Chapman claims some share in 
the nomination. 

Kelts, 2500 inhabitants; electors, a sovereign, a few bur- 
gesses and freemen, the whole very small, under the immediate 
direction of — Proprietor of the soil and patron, Lord Bective. 

Navan, 2500 inhabitants; electors, a portrieve, 12 burgesses 
and 60 or 70 freemen, nine whereof only polled at last election. 
Patrons, Lord Ludlow and Mr. Preston of Ballinter. 

Ratoath, 400 inhabitants ; electors, freeholders of the manor. 
Patron and principal proprietor of the soil, Gorges Lowther, 

Duleek, electors, a portrieve, burgesses, and freemen ; in all 
not thirteen, and none of which reside in either that town or 
county; a venal rotten borough. Proprietor of the soil, Thomas 
Trotter, Esq. ; but — Patron, Abel Ram, Esq. 



County of Monagha* 
Contains 99,225 inhabitants, a considerable number whereof 
are electors, and one borough. 

Monaghan, 1975 inhabitants; electors, a provost who resides, 
and 12 burgesses, all non-residents; a venal borough. Patrons, 
Lord Clermont and Lady Blaynev. 

Queen's County 
Contains 70,000 inhabitants, 1400 whereof are electors, and 
three boroughs. 

Ballinahill, 1200 inhabitants; electors, 12 burgesses, two of 
whom are residents ; there are also a few freemen still extant, 
who are entitled, but not permitted to vote. Proprietor of the 
soil, Lord Stanhope. Patron, Lord Drogheda. 

Portarlington, 3000 inhabitants; electors, 12 burgesses, a 
returning officer, and about 50 freemen, mostly non-residents. 
Proprietor and patron, Lord Carlow. 

Maryborough, 1200 inhabitants; electors, a mayor, two 
bailiffs, 12 burgesses, and about 350 freemen, mostly non- 
residents, and under the influence of — Patrons, the Rev. Dean 
Coote and Sir John Parnell, Bart. 

County of Roscommon 

Contains 40,000 inhabitants, and the three following bo- 
roughs : — 

Boyle, inhabitants above 2000 ; electors, a burgomaster and 
12 burgesses, mostly non-residents. Proprietor of the soil and 
patron, Lord Kingston. 

Roscommon, 350 inhabitants ; electors, a sovereign, and 12 
burgesses. Proprietors and patrons, Lord Maldon and Mrs. 

Tulsk, 11 inhabitants; electors, a sovereign and 12 burgesses, 
all non-residents. Proprietor of the soil, Mr. Foxlane. Patron- 
ess, Mrs. Walcott. 

County of Sligo 
Contains 36,900 inhabitants, and one borough, namely, 
Sligo, 7000 inhabitants; electors, a provost and 12 burgesses; 

a rotten and venal borough, under the sole direction of — Patron, 

Owen Wynne, Esq. 

i i2 



County of Tipperary 

Contains 119,706 inhabitants, and three boroughs, namely, 

Cashell, an ancient city; electors, a mayor, 17 aldermen,, 
and between 70 and 80 freemen, all under the immediate con- 
trol of — Patron, Mr. Pennefather. 

Clonmelly a large and populous town ; electors, a mayor, re- 
corder, town-clerk, 19 burgesses, and 72 freemen, mostly non- 
residents. Patrons, Lord Mountcashell, and some of the Moores. 

Fethard, electors, a returning officer, 12 burgesses, and 900 
freemen, mostly non-residents. Patrons, Messrs. Barton and 

County of Tyrone 

Contains about 122,612 inhabitants, 3000 whereof are free- 
holders, and four boroughs, to wit, 

Clogher, an ancient city ; the right of election supposed to 
be vested in, and is claimed by the Protestant inhabitants at 
large ; but the Bishop of Clogher claims a patronage, and by 
his influence and election manoeuvres, always returns the 

Dungannon, although the chosen seat of freedom, yet, as to 
the return for members to serve in Parliament, is a venal, 
corrupt, and rotten borough ; the electors, a returning officer, 
and 12 burgesses, nominated by — Patron, Lord Welles. 

Strabane, electors, a provost, and 12 burgesses; a venal bo- 
rough, governed by — Proprietor of the soil and patron, Lord 

Augher, electors, a provost and 12 burgesses. Patrons, 
Messrs. Moutray and Richardson. 

County of Waterford 

Contains about 52,000 inhabitants, 500 whereof are electors, 
and four boroughs. 

Tallagh had a charter for a sovereign, recorder, and 24 bur- 
gesses, 10th James I., by which the liberties were extended a 
mile and a half round the church every way ; the corporation 
is long gone into disuse, though it is by this charter the right of 
sending representatives is given. It is a manor, the electors 
potwalloppers, and before the decision of the House of Commons 
freeholders within the manor exercised right of suffrage ; on the 



last election, which was contested, 96 electors voted. The 
seneschal of the manor, appointed by the Duke of Devonshire, 
is a returning officer. Inhabitants above 1000. Supposed 
patron, Lord Shannon. 

Lismore is a manor; number of electors supposed to be 
about 50, but not contested these very many years ; right of 
election in potwalloppers and freeholders within the manor; 
number of inhabitants above 600. Seneschal of the manor 
appointed by the Duke of Devonshire is returning officer, and 
same man is seneschal for Lismore and Tallagh. Supposed 
patron, Duke of Devonshire. 

Dunganan is a manor; had a sovereign, recorder, and 12 
burgesses, yearly chosen by charter, James I., but disused ; 
right of election in potwalloppers and freeholders of the manor, 
in all about 120; number of inhabitants about 2000; the 
seneschal appointed by the Duke of Devonshire is returning 
officer. Supposed patron, Lord Tyrone. 

County of the City of Waterford, 40,000 inhabitants; elec- 
tors, 1000, being freemen and freeholders; one-half of whom 
are foreigners; their charter under Car. II.; the corporation, 17 
aldermen, out of whom a mayor is chosen, and 23 assistants or 
common council, out of whom two sheriffs are chosen ; the 
corporation exercises a power of making freemen at will : by 
the charter, all sons, sons-in-law, and apprentices of freemen, 
are entitled to their freedom, and the usage supports the 
charter. The liberties of the city extend in length about five 
miles, in breadth about four miles. A large part of the property 
of the soil is in the corporation, which sets for terms of 999 

County of Westmeath 
Contains 70,350 inhabitants, 1120 whereof are electors, and 
four boroughs. 

A thlone, a large town ; electors, a sovereign, burgesses, and 
freemen, in all between 400 and 500, under the influence of — 
Patrons, Sir Richard St. George, and Dean Handcock. 

Fore, a venal rotten borough ; electors, a returning officer, 
and 12 burgesses, under the absolute direction of — Patron, Lord 



Kilbeggan, a venal rotten borough ; electors, a returning 
officer, and 12 burgesses, under command of — Patron, Charles 
Lambert, Esq. 

Mullingar, a large town ; electors, a seneschal, and free- 
holders of the manor — only one resident, and but 12 permitted 
to vote by — Patron, Lord Granard. 

County of Wexford 

Contains 77,628 inhabitants, a great number whereof are 
electors, and eight boroughs. 

Bannow retains only the name, being totally uninhabited ; 
the electors, a returning officer, and 12 burgesses, nominated 
by — Patron, Mr. Loftus, the representative of Lord Ely. 

Clonmines, a decayed and rotten borough ; electors, a re- 
turning officer, and 12 burgesses, all non-residents, being the 
same who are the electors for Bannow — Patron, Mr. Loftus. 

Fethard, a venal, rotten borough ; electors, a returning 
officer and 12 burgesses, all non-residents, being the same 13 
men who return for Bannow and Clonmines; so that 13 
domestics, or persons dependent on the will of Mr. Loftus, and 
nominated by him, depute six members to serve in Parliament 
from an opulent and respectable county, wherein they are not 
perhaps acquainted, or possess one shilling property. This 
must be a burlesque on all representation. Patron, Mr. 

Enniscortky, 700 inhabitants; electors, a returning officer, 
and 12 burgesses, only one resident. Patron, Sir Vesey Col- 
clough, Bart., who sacrificed his interest therein on the altar of 
public freedom. 

Gorey, electors, a returning officer, and 12 burgesses; a 
venal, corrupt, and rotten borough, under the direction of — 
Patron, Stephen Ram, Esq. 

New Ross, a large town ; electors, a returning officer, and 
12 burgesses, with a right of making an unlimited number of 
freemen, but venal and rotten, under the influence of — Patrons, 
Mr. Leigh and Charles Tottenham, Esq. 

Taghmon, a corrupt, venal, and rotten borough ; electors, a 
returning officer and 12 burgesses, under command of — Patron, 
Mr. Hoare. 



Wexford, a large and populous trading town ; electors, a 
mayor, 2 bailiffs, 24 burgesses, and 800 or 900 freemen ; ought 
to be a free town ; but by manoeuvring in the corporation, it is 
retained as a kind of rotten borough, under the influence of — 
Richard Neville, Esq., and a few others. 

County of Wicklow 

Contains 56,532 inhabitants, 900 whereof are electors, and 
four boroughs, namely, 

Baltinglass, 960 inhabitants ; electors, of whom are resident 
only three, a sovereign, recorder, town clerk, 12 burgesses, and 
an unlimited number of free commons, but at present do not 
exceed 20. Proprietor of the soil and patron, Lord Aldborough, 
who, following the example of Lord Charlemont, Colonels 
Ifassey, Flood, Bernard, &c, nobly sacrificed his private inte- 
rest at the shrine of public liberty. 

Wicklow, a sea-port town, 800 inhabitants; electors, a port- 
rieve, and 12 burgesses; there are also an indeterminate number 
of freemen, who are not permitted to vote. Patron, representa- 
tives of the late William Tighe, Esq. 

Carysfort, gone entirely to ruin and decay; electors, a sove- 
reign and 12 burgesses, all, of course, non-residents. Proprietor 
of the soil and patron, Lord Carysfort. 

Blessington, 240 inhabitants, electors, a portrieve, 2 bailiffs, 
a register, and 12 burgesses, with power in them to make free- 
men, which they do not exercise beyond four or five, and all 
these electors are non-residents, except one or two ; a corrupt, 
venal and rotten borough, at the absolute command of— Patron, 
Lord Hillsborough. 

The Irish House of Commons consists of 300 members, viz. 
32 Counties send up . . . Knights 64 
7 Cities „ ... Citizens 14 

1 University „ . Representatives 2 
110 Boroughs „ ... Burgesses 220 

Total 300 

Out of which number the people return ... 81 
And the patrons, &c 219 

Total as above 300 




An Act for removing and preventing all doubts which have 
arisen, or might arise, concerning the exclusive rights of the 
Parliament and Courts of Ireland in matters of legislation and 
judicature ; and for preventing any writ of error or appeal 
from any of his Majesty's courts in that kingdom from being 
received, heard, and adjudged in any of his Majesty's courts in 
the kingdom of Great Britain. Whereas, by an Act of the last 
session of this present Parliament, (intituled, an Act to repeal 
an Act made in the sixth year of the reign of his late Majesty 
King George the First, intituled, an Act for the better securing 
the dependancy of the kingdom of Ireland upon the crown of 
Great Britain,) it was enacted, that the said last-mentioned Act, 
and all matters and things therein contained, should be 
repealed: and whereas, doubts have arisen whether the pro- 
visions of the said Act are sufficient to secure to the people of 
Ireland the rights claimed by them, to be bound only by laws 
enacted by his Majesty and the Parliament of that kingdom in 
all cases whatever, and to have all actions and suits at law or in 
equity which may be instituted in that kingdom, decided in his 
Majesty's courts therein, finally, and without appeal from 
thence. Therefore, for removing all doubts respecting the 
same, may it please your Majesty that it may be declared and 
enacted, and be it declared and enacted by the King's most 
excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present 
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that 
the said right claimed by the people of Ireland to be bound 
only by laws enacted by his Majesty and the Parliament of 
that kingdom in all cases whatever ; and to have all actions 
and suits at law or in equity which may be instituted in that 
kingdom, decided in his Majesty's courts therein, finally and 
without appeal from thence, shall be and is hereby declared to 
be established* and ascertained for ever and shall at no time, 
hereafter be questioned or questionable. 

* Lord Beauchamp moved that the word recognised be substituted for 
established; but Mr. (Lord) Grenville, was for keeping the latter, saying 
that the Irish people were satisfied with it. 




February, 1795. 

1. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee that 
it is highly important to the great interest of the British empire, 
that the trade between Great Britain and Ireland be encouraged 
and extended as much as possible ; and for that purpose, that 
the intercourse and commerce be finally settled and regulated 
on permanent and equitable principles, for the mutual benefit of 
both countries. 

2. That towards carrying into full effect so desirable a 
settlement, it is fit and proper that all articles not the produce 
or manufacture of Great Britain and Ireland, should be im- 
ported into either kingdom from each other, reciprocally, under 
the same regulations ; and at the same duties, if subject to 
duties, to which they are liable when imported directly from 
the place of their growth, produce, or manufacture : and that 
all duties originally paid on importation into either country 
respectively, shall be drawn back on exportation to the 

3. That for the same purpose, it is proper that no prohi- 
bition should exist in either country against the importation, 
use, or sale of any article, the growth, product, or manufacture 
of the other ; and that the duty on the importation of every 
such article, if subject to duty in either country, should be pre- 
cisely the same in one country as in the other, except where 
an addition may be necessary in either country, in consequence 
of an internal duty on any such article of its own consumption. 

4. That in all cases when the duties on articles of the 
growth, product, or manufactures of either country are different 
on the importation into the other, it would be expedient that 
they should be reduced in the kingdom where they are the 
highest, to the amount payable in the other : and that all such 
articles should be exportable from the kingdom in which they 



shall be imported, as free from duty as the similar commodities 
or home manufacture of the same kingdom. 

5. That for the same purpose it is also proper, that in all 
cases where either kingdom shall charge articles of its own 
consumption with an internal duty on the manufacture, or a 
duty on the material, the same manufacture, when imported 
from the other, may be charged with a farther duty on impor- 
tation, to the same amount as the internal duty on the manu- 
facture, or to an amount adequate to countervail the duty on 
the material ; and shall be entitled to such drawbacks or boun- 
ties on exportation, as may leave the same subject to no heavier 
burden than the home-made manufacture ; such further duty to 
continue so long only as the internal consumption shall be 
charged with the duty or duties, to balance which it shall be 
imposed, or until the manufacture coming from the other 
kingdom shall be subjected there to an equal burden, not drawn 
back or compensated on exportation. 

6. That in order to give permanency to the settlement 
now intended to be established, it is necessary that no prohi- 
bition, or new or additional duties should be hereafter imposed 
in either kingdom on the importation of any article of the 
growth, product, or manufactures of the other, except such 
additional duties as may be requisite to balance duties on in- 
ternal consumption, pursuant to the foregoing resolution. 

7. That for the same purposes, it is necessary further that 
no prohibitions, or new or additional duties, should be hereafter 
imposed in either kingdom, on the exportation of any article of 
native growth, product, or manufacture from thence to the 
other, except such as either kingdom may deem expedient from 
time to time upon corn, meal, flour, and biscuits ; and also, 
except where there now exists any prohibition which is not 
reciprocal, or any duty which is not equal in both kingdoms : 
in every which case the prohibition may be made reciprocal, or 
the duties raised so as to make them equal. 

8. That for the same purpose it is necessary that no 
bounties whatsoever shall be paid or payable in either kingdom 
on the exportation of any article to the other, except such as 



relate to corn, meal, flour, or biscuits, and such as are in the 
nature of drawbacks, or compensations for duties paid : and that 
no bounty should be granted in this kingdom on the exportation 
of any article imported from the British Plantations, or any 
manufacture made of such articles, unless in cases where a 
similar bounty is payable in Great Britain on exportation from 
thence, or where such bounty is merely in the nature of a draw- 
back, or compensation of, or for duties paid, over and above 
any duties paid thereon in Great Britain. 

9. That it is expedient for the general benefit of the British 
empire, that the importation of articles from foreign states, 
should be regulated from time to time in each kingdom, on 
such terms as may afford an effectual preference to the im- 
portation of similar articles of the growth, produce, or manu- 
factures of the other. 

10. That it is essential to the commercial interests of this 
country to prevent as much as possible an accumulation of 
national debt : and that therefore it is highly expedient that 
the annual revenue of this kingdom should be made equal to 
its annual expenses. 

11. That for the better protection of trade, whatever sum 
the gross hereditary revenue of this kingdom, (after deducting 
all drawbacks, repayments, or bounties granted in the nature of 
drawbacks) shall produce, over and above the sum of 656,000/. 
in each year in peace, wherein the annual expense, and in each 
year in war, without regard to such equality, should be appro- 
priated towards the support of the naval force of the empire, in 
such manner as the Parliament of this kingdom shall direct." 

List of those who voted on the Bill for the final adjustment of 
a commercial system between Great Britain and Ireland, 
Friday, August 12, 1785. 


Adderley, Thomas Beresford, Rt. Hon. John 

Annesley, Hon. Richard Beresford, Marcus 

Agar, Henry Blaquiere, Rt. Hon. Sir John 

Baillie, James Bolton, Cornelius 



Boyd, Robert 
Browne, Sir John 
Browne, Hon. James 
Burdett, George 
Burgh, Capt. Thos. 
Cane, Hugh 
Caulfield, William 
Carroll, Ephraim 
Chatterton, James 
Coddington, Henry 
Cunningham, Rt. Hon. Wm. 
Cunningham, General 
Coghlan, Thomas 
Colville, William 
Cotter, Sir James 
Coppinger, Maurice 
Chinnery, James 
Chinnery, Broderick 
Craddock, John 
Daly, D. Bowes 
Day, Robert 
Dawson, Arthur 
Dawson, Thomas 
Delvin, Lord 
Dunbar, George 
Fitzgerald, James 
Fitzgibbon, Rt. Hon. J. 
Forward, Hon. Wm. 
Foster, W. 

Foster, Rt. Hon. John 
Foster, J. W. 
French, Frederick 
Gahan, Daniel 
Gardiner, Rt. Hon. Luke 
Godfrey, Sir William 
Gore, Henry 
Gore, John 

Green, Godfrey 
Hamilton, Sir John S. 
Hamilton, Sackville 
Hayes, Samuel 
Hayes, St. Leger 
Hewitt, Hon. Joseph 
Headford, Lord 
Hill, Sir Hugh 
Hoare, Sir Joseph 
Hobson, John 
Holmes, Peter 
Hobart, Robert 
Howard, Hugh 
Howard, Hon. Robt. 
Hutchinson, Rt. Hon. J. H. 
Hutchinson, Richard 
Jephson, Denham 
Jephson, Robert 
Jocelyn, Hon. George 
Jocelyn, Lord 
Johnston, Sir Richard 
Jones, Hon. Theophilus 
King, Edward 
Kil warden, Lord 
Knox, Hon. Thos. 
Langrishe, Sir Hercules 
Langrishe, Robert 
Lawless, Sir Nicholas 
Loftus, Henry 
Lutterel, Lord 
McClintock, John 
Magennis, Richard 
Mason, John Monk 
May, Sir James 
Meredyth, Henry 
Metge, John 
Molyneux, G. W. 



Montgomery, William 
Montgomery, Sir William 
Moore, John 
Moore, Lorenzo 
Moore, Stephen 
Morris, Lodge 
Morris, Sir William 
Musgrave, Sir Richard 
Nesbitt, Thomas 
O'Brien, Sir Lucius 
O'Flaherty, John 
Ogle, Right Hon. Geo. 
O'Neill, Charles 
Orde, Rt. Hon. Thomas 
Parnell, Sir John 
Pigott, Col. Thomas 
Pomeroy, John 
Pomeroy, Hon. Henry 
Ponsonby, George 
Ponsonby, Rt. Hon. John 
Ponsonby, James Caregue 
Pole, Hon. Wellesley 
Price, Crom. 

Acheson, Hon. Arthur 
Alcock, Henry 
Alexander, James 
Archdall, Mervyn 
Armstrong, John 
Aylmer, Sir Fitzgerald 
Barton, John 
Bernard, James 
Blackwood, Robert 
Brooke, Henry V. 
Brownlow, Rt. Hon. Wm. 
Browne, Arthur 

Rawson, George 
Reilly, John 
Roche, Sir Boyle 
Ross, Robert 
Rothe, George 
Rowley, Clotworthy 
Sheridan, Charles Francis 
Smith, Sir Skeffington 
St. Leger, Hayes 
St. George, Lieut. -Col. Richd. 
Stewart, Henry 
Sudley, Lord 
Swan, Edward B. 
Tighe, Edward 
Toler, John 
Townshend, John 
Tydd, John 
Uniacke, James 
Uniacke, Robert 
Walshe, Patrick 
Warren, Nathaniel 
Wolfe, Arthur 
Wynne, Owen 


Bruen, Henry 

Burgh, Thomas (Old Town) 
Burton, William 
Butler, Sir Richard 
Caldwell, Andrew 
Cavendish, Sir Henry 
Carew, Robert 
Corry, Isaac 
Conolly, Thomas 
Cope, Henry 

Creighton, Hon. Abraham 
Crofton, Sir Edward 



Cromie, Sir Michael 
Cuff, Hon. William 
Curran, John Philpot 
Daly, Anthony 
Denny, Sir Barry 
Devereux, Charles 
Digby, Simon 
Dillon, Robert 
Dobbs, C. Richard 
Doyle, John 
Dunne, John 
Fitzgerald, Lord Charles 
Fitzgerald, Lord Edward 
Fitzgerald, Edward 
Fitzgerald, Lord Henry 
Flood, Henry 
Forbes, Arthur 
Forbes, John 
French, Arthur 
Grattan, Rt. Hon. Henry 
Griffith, Richard 
Hamilton, A. C. 
Handcock, William 
Hardy, Francis 
Harman, Harman 
Hatch, John 
Hartley, Travers 
Hartstonge, Sir Henry 
Hayes, T. (Strabane) 
Heatly, Conway 
Herbert, Richd. Townsend 
Hunt, Edward 
Hussey, Dudley 
Hutchinson, Sir Francis 
Jones, William Todd 
Johnston, Sir John Allen 
Kearney, James 

Kingsborough, Lord 

Latouche, John 

Latouche, Peter 

Leslie, Chas. Powell 

Lloyd, John 

Longfield, Richard 

Lowther, George 

Massey, Hon. Hugh 

Massey, Sir H. Dillon 

Montgomery, Alexander 

Montgomery, John 

Montgomery, Nathaniel 

Neville, Richard 

Ne wen ham, Sir Edward 

O'Hara, Charles 

Ogilvie, William 

Ogle, Henry Meade 

O'Neill, Rt. Hon. John 

Pakenham, Hon. Thomas 

Parsons, Lawrence 

Preston, John 

Preston, Joseph 

Prittie, Henry 

Ram, Abel 

Ram, Andrew 

Richardson, John 

Richardson, William 

Rochford, Hon. Robert 

Rowley, Rt. Hon. H. Langford 

Rowley ; Hon. Hercules 

Ruxton, William 

Sand ford, George 

Sharman, William 

Smyth, Michael 

Smith, William 

Stewart, Charles 

Stewart, James 



Stewart, Sir Annesley 
St. George, Sir Richard 

Usher, John 

Ward, Hon. Edward 

Stratford, Hon. John 
Taylor, Hon. Captain 
Toler, Daniel 

Warren, Augustus 
Westby, Nicholas 
Whaley, Richard 
Wolfe, John 

Trench, W. P. K. 

Of the county members who opposed this bill, there were 45 ; 
those who were ill or absent, and against it, there were 4, 
making 49. For introducing the bill, there were only 10 
county members ; doubtful and absent 3, making but 13; of 
which number 9 were placemen, and 2 the sons of placemen ; 
so that it might be said, there were only 2 independent county 
members out of the entire number of 64 who supported it; A 
very strong argument for Parliamentary Reform. 


1. That it is highly important to the general interests of the 
British empire, that the intercourse and commerce between 
Great Britain and Ireland, should be finally regulated on per- 
manent and equitable principles, for the mutual benefit of both 

2. That it is consistent with the essential interests of the 
manufactures, revenues, commerce, and navigation of Great 
Britain, that a full participation of commercial advantages 
should be permanently secured to Ireland, whenever a provision 
equally permanent and secure should be made by the Parlia- 
ment of that kingdom, towards defraying, in proportion to its 
growing prosperity, the necessary expenses, in time of peace, of 
protecting the trade and general interest of the empire. 

3. That towards carrying into full effect so desirable a set- 
tlement, it is fit and proper that all articles not the growth or 
manufacture of Great Britain or Ireland, except those of the 




growth, produce, or manufacture of any of the countries beyond 
the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan, should be 
imported into each kingdom from the other reciprocally under 
the same regulations, and at the same duties (if subject to du- 
ties) to which they would be liable when imported directly from 
the country or place from whence the same may have been 
imported into Great Britain or Ireland respectively, as the case 
may be; and that all duties originally paid on importation into 
either country respectively, except on arrack and foreign 
brandy, and on rum, and all sorts of strong waters, not im- 
ported from the British colonies in the West Indies, shall be 
fully drawn back on exportation to the other ; but nevertheless, 
that the duties shall continue to be protected and guarded as 
at present, by withholding the drawback, until a certificate 
from the proper officers of the revenue in the kingdom, to 
which the export may be made, shall be returned and com- 
pared with the entry outwards. 

4. That it is highly important to the general interest of the 
British empire, that the laws for regulating trade and naviga- 
tion should be the same in Great Britain and Ireland, and 
therefore, that it is essential towards carrying into effect the 
present settlement, that all laws which have been made, or 
shall be made in Great Britain, for securing exclusive privileges 
to the ships and mariners of Great Britain, Ireland, and the 
British colonies and plantations, and for regulating and restrain- 
ing the trade of the British colonies and plantations, such laws 
imposing the same restraints, and conferring the same benefits 
on the subjects of both kingdoms, should be in force in Ireland 
by laws to be passed by the Parliament of that kingdom for 
the same time, and in the same manner as in Great Britain. 

5. That it is further essential to this settlement, that all 
goods and commodities of the growth, produce, or manufacture 
of British or foreign colonies in America, or the West Indies, 
and the British or foreign settlements on the coast of Africa, 
imported into Ireland, should on importation be subject to the 
same duties and regulations as the like goods are, or from time 
to time shall be subject to upon importation into Great Britain, 



or if prohibited to be imported into Great Britain, shall be pro- 
hibited in like manner from being imported into Ireland. 

6. That in order to prevent illicit practices, injurious to 
the revenue and commerce of both kingdoms, it is expedient 
that all goods, whether of the growth, produce, or manufacture 
of Great Britain or Ireland, or of any foreign country, which 
shall hereafter be imported into Great Britain from Ireland, or 
into Ireland from Great Britain, should be put by laws to be 
passed in the Parliaments of the two kingdoms, under the same 
regulation with respect to bonds, cockets, and other instru- 
ments, to which the like goods are now subject in passing from 
one port of Great Britain to another. 

7. That for the like purpose it is also expedient, that when 
any goods, the growth, produce, or manufacture of the British 
West India Islands, or any other of the British colonies or 
plantations, shall be shipped from Ireland for Great Britain, 
they should be accompanied with such original certificates of 
the revenue officers of the said colonies as shall be required by 
law on importation into Great Britain ; and that when the 
whole quantity included in one certificate, shall not be shipped 
at any one time, the original certificate properly endorsed, as to 
quantity, should be sent with the first parcel ; and to identify 
the remainder if shipped within a time to be limited, new cer- 
tificates should be granted by the principal officers of the ports 
in Ireland, extracted from a register of the original documents, 
specifying the quantities before shipped from thence, by what 
vessels, and to what ports. 

8. That it is essential for carrying into effect the present set- 
tlement, that all goods exported from Ireland to the British 
colonies in the West Indies, or in America, or to the British set- 
tlements on the coast of Africa, or to the countries beyond the 
Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan, should from 
time to time be made liable to such duties and drawbacks, and 
put under such regulations as may be necessary, in order that 
the same may not be exported with less incumbrance of duties 
or impositions than the like goods shall be burthened with when 
exported from Great Britain. 




9. That it is essential to the general commercial interests of 
the empire, that so long as the Parliament of this kingdom shall 
think it adviseable, that the commerce to the countries beyond 
the Cape of Good Hope, to the Straits of Magellan, shall be 
carried on solely by an exclusive company, having liberty to im- 
port into the port of London only, no goods of the growth, pro- 
duce, or manufacture of the said countries, shall be allowed to 
be imported into Ireland, but through Great Britain ; except 
dye-stuffs, cotton, or other wool and spiceries, which may be 
imported into Ireland from foreign European countries, so long 
as the same are importable from foreign European countries 
into Great Britain ; and that it shall be lawful to export such 
goods of the growth, product, or manufacture of any of the 
countries beyond the Cape of Good Hope, to the Straits 
of Magellan, from Great Britain to Ireland, with the same 
duties retained thereon as are now retained on their being ex- 
ported to that kingdom, but that an account shall be kept of 
the duties retained and not drawn back on the said goods ex- 
ported to Ireland, and that the amount thereof shall be remitted 
by the Receiver-General of His Majesty's customs in Great Bri- 
tain, to the proper officer of the revenue of Ireland, to be placed 
to the account of His Majesty's revenue there, subject to the 
disposal of the Parliament of that kingdom ; and that the ships 
going from Great Britain to any of the said countries beyond 
the Cape of Good Hope, to the Straits of Magellan, should 
not be restrained from touching at any of the ports in Ireland, 
and taking on board there any of the goods of the growth, pro- 
duce, or manufacture of that kingdom ; and that no ships be 
allowed to clear out from Ireland for any of the said countries, 
but such ships as shall be freighted by the said company, and 
which shall have sailed from the port of London ; and that 
whenever the commerce to the said country shall cease to be 
carried on solely by such an exclusive company, the goods, the 
growth, produce, or manufacture of the said countries beyond 
the Cape of Good Hope, to the Straits of Magellan, should 
be importable into Ireland from the same countries from 
which they may be importable into Great Britain, and no 



10. That no prohibition should exist in either country against 
the importation, use, or sale of any article the growth, product, 
or manufacture of the other, except such as either kingdom 
may judge expedient from time to time upon corn, meal, malt, 
flour, and biscuits ; and except such qualified prohibitions at 
present contained in any act of the British or Irish Parliaments, 
as do not absolutely prevent the importation of goods or manu- 
factures, or materials of manufactures, but only regulate the 
weight, the size, the package, or other particular circumstances, 
or prescribe the built or country, and dimensions of the ships 
importing the same ; and also except on ammunition, arms, 
gunpowder, and other utensils of war importable only by virtue 
of His Majesty's licenses ; and that the duty on the importation 
of every such article (if subject to duty in either country) 
should be precisely the same in the one country as in the other, 
except where an addition may be necessary in either country, in 
consequence of an internal duty on any such article of its own 
consumption, or an internal bounty in the country where such 
article is grown, produced, or manufactured, and except such 
duties as either kingdom may judge expedient from time to time 
upon corn, meal, malt, flour, and biscuits. 

11. That in all cases where the duties on articles of the 
growth, produce, or manufacture of either country, are different 
on the importation into the other, it is expedient that they 
should be reduced in the kingdom where they are the highest, 
to an amount not exceeding the amount payable in the other, 
so that the same shall not be less than ten and a half per 
centum, or where any article was charged with a duty on im- 
portation into Ireland of ten and a half per centum, or upwards, 
on the 17th day of May, 1782 ; and that all such articles shall 
be exported from the kingdom into which they shall be im- 
ported, as free from duties as the same kingdom. 

12. That it is also proper that in all cases where the articles 
of the consumption of either kingdom shall be charged with an 
internal duty on the manufacture, the same manufacture, when 
imported from the other, may be charged with a farther duty on 
importation, adequate to countervail the internal duty on the 




manufacture, except in the case of beer imported into Ireland, 
as far as relates to the duties now charged thereon ; such far- 
ther duty to continue so long only as the internal consumption 
shall be charged with the duty or duties to balance which it 
shall be imposed ; and that where there is a duty on the raw 
material of any manufacture in either kingdom, less than the 
duty on the like raw material in the other, or equal to such 
duty, such manufacture may, on its importation into the other 
kingdom, be charged with such a countervailing duty as may be 
sufficient to subject the same, so imported, to burthens adequate 
to those which the manufacture composed of the like raw 
material is subject to, in consequence of duties on such material 
in the kingdom into which such manufacture is so imported ; 
and that the said manufacture so imported shall be entitled to 
such drawbacks or bounties on exportation as may leave the 
same subject to no heavier burthen than the home-made manu- 

13. That in order to give permanency to the settlement now 
intended to be established, it is necessary that no new or addi- 
tional duties should be hereafter imposed in either kingdom on 
the importation of any article of the growth, product, or manu- 
facture of the other, except such additional duties as may be 
requisite to balance duties on internal consumption, pursuant 
to the foregoing resolution, or in consequence of bounties remain- 
ing on such article when exported from the other kingdom. 

14. That for the same purpose it is necessary farther, that no 
new prohibition or new or additional duties should be hereafter 
imposed in either kingdom on the exportation of any article of 
native growth, produce or manufacture, from the one kingdom 
to the other, except such as either kingdom may deem expedient 
from time to time, upon corn, meal, malt, flour, and biscuits. 

15. That for the same purpose it is necessary that no 
bounties whatsoever should be paid or payable in either king- 
dom, on the exportation of any article to the other, except such 
as relate to corn, meal, malt, flour, and biscuits, and except 
also the bounties at present given by Great Britain on beer and 
spirits distilled from corn, and such as are jn the nature of 



drawbacks or compensations for duties paid; and that no 
bounties should be payable in Ireland on the exportation of any 
article to any British colonies or plantations, or to the British 
settlements on the coast of Africa, or on the exportation of any 
article imported from the British plantations, or from the British 
settlements on the coast of Africa, or British settlements in the 
East Indies, or any manufacture made of such article, unless in 
cases where a similar bounty is payable in Great Britain on ex- 
portation from thence, or where such bounty is merely in the 
nature of a drawback or compensation of or for duties paid over 
and above any duties paid thereon in Great Britain ; and that 
where any internal bounty shall be given in either kingdom on 
any goods manufactured therein, and shall remain on such 
goods when exported, a countervailing duty adequate thereto 
may be laid upon the importation of the said goods into the 
other kingdom. 

16. That it is expedient for the general benefit of the British 
empire, that the importation of articles from foreign countries 
should be regulated from time to time in each kingdom on 
such terms as may effectually favour the importation of similar 
articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of the other, 
except in the case of materials or manufacture which are or 
hereafter may be allowed to be imported from foreign countries 
duty free ; and that in all cases where any articles are or may 
be subject to higher duties on importation into this kingdom 
from the countries belonging to any of the states of North 
America than the like goods are or may be subject to when im- 
ported as the growth, produce, or manufacture of the British 
colonies and plantations, or as the produce of the fisheries 
carried on by British subjects, such articles shall be subject to 
the same duties on importation into Ireland from the countries 
belonging to any of the states of North America as the same 
are or may be subject to on importation from the said countries 
into this kingdom. 

17. That it is expedient that such privileges of printing 
and vending books, as are or may be legally possessed within 
Great Britain, under the grant of the Crown or otherwise, and 
the copyrights of the authors and booksellers of Great Britain, 



should continue to be protected in the manner they are at pre- 
sent by the laws of Great Britain ; and that it is just that mea- 
sures should be taken by the Parliament of Ireland, for giving 
the like protection to similar rights and privileges in that 

18. That it is expedient that regulations should be adopted 
with respect to patents to be hereafter granted for the encou- 
ragement of new inventions, so that the rights, privileges, and 
restrictions therein granted and contained shall be of equal 
force and duration, throughout Great Britain and Ireland. 

19. That it is expedient that measures should be taken to 
prevent disputes touching the exercise of the right of the inhabi- 
tants of each kingdom to fish on the coasts of any part of the 
British dominions. 

20. That the appropriation of whatever sum the gross 
hereditary revenue of the kingdom of Ireland (the due collection 
thereof being secured by permanent provisions) shall produce 
after deducting all drawbacks, repayments, or bounties granted 
in the nature of drawbacks, over and above the sum of six hun- 
dred and fifty-six thousand pounds in each year, towards the 
support of the naval force of the empire, to be applied in such 
manner as the Parliament of Ireland shall direct, by an act to 
be passed for that purpose, will be a satisfactory provision, pro- 
portioned to the growing prosperity of that kingdom, towards 
defraying in time of peace the necessary expenses of protecting 
the trade and general interests of the empire. 



An Act to allow the trade between Ireland and the British 
Colonies, and plantations in America and the West Indies, 
and the British settlements on the coast of Africa, to be 
carried on in like manner as it is now carried on between 
Great Britain and the said colonies and settlements, 1779. 

Whereas by an Act of Parliament, made in the twelfth year of 
the reign of King Charles the Second, (intituled, an Act for the 



encouraging and increasing of shipping and navigation), it is, 
among other things, enacted, that, for every ship or vessel 
which shall load any commodities, in that Act particularly enu- 
merated, at any English plantation in America, Asia, or Africa, 
being the growth, product, or manufacture thereof, bond shall 
be given, with due surety, to the value of one thousand pounds, 
if the ship be of less burthen than one hundred tons, and of the 
sum of two thousaud pounds, if the ship be of greater burthen ; 
that the same commodities shall be brought by such ship or 
vessel to some other English plantation, or to some port in En- 
gland or Ireland, or principality of Wales, or town of Berwick 
upon Tweed : and whereas, by another Act of Parliament, made 
in the twenty-second and twenty- third years of the reign of 
King Charles the Second, (intituled, an Act to prevent the 
planting of Tobacco in England, and for regulating the plan- 
tation trade), it was, amongst other things, enacted, that the 
word Ireland should be left out of all such bonds : and whereas, 
by several subsequent Acts of Parliament, made in this kingdom, 
which are now in force, the said enumerated commodities, and 
several other articles which are particularly enumerated in such 
subsequent Acts are to be carried to some other British plan- 
tation, or in some port in Great Britain only : and whereas, 
by another Act of Parliament, made in the fifteenth year of the 
reign of King Charles the Second, (intituled, an Act for the en- 
couragement of Trade,) no commodity of this growth, produc- 
tion, or manufacture of Europe, (excepting some particular 
articles which are enumerated in that Act, and in other subse- 
quent Acts of Parliament which are now in force,) can be im- 
ported into any land, island, plantation, colony, territory, or 
place, belonging to, or in the possession of his Majesty, in Asia, 
Africa, or America, but what shall be bona fide, and without 
fraud, laden and shipped in Great Britain, in ships navigated 
according to law, and carried directly from thence, and from no 
other place or places whatsoever : and whereas, by another 
Act of Parliament, made in the fourth year of his present 
Majesty's reign, (intituled, an Act for granting certain duties in 
the British Colonies and plantations in America ; for continuing 



and amending, and making perpetual, an Act passed in the 
sixth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the 
Second, (intituled, an Act for the better securing and en- 
couraging the trade of his Majesty's Sugar Colonies in America ;) 
for supplying the produce of such duties, and of the duties to 
arise by virtue of the said Act, towards defraying the expenses 
of defending, protecting, and securing the said colonies and 
plantations ; for explaining an Act made in the twenty-fifth 
year of the reign of King Charles the Second, (intituled, an Act 
for the encouragement of the Greenland and Eastland trades, 
and for the better securing the plantation trade) ; and for alter- 
ing and disallowing several drawbacks on exports from this 
kingdom, and more effectually preventing the clandestine con- 
veyance of goods to and from the said colonies and plantations, 
and improving and securing the trade between the same and 
Great Britain); it is amongst other things enacted, that any 
officer of the customs may stop any British vessel arriving from 
any port of Europe, which shall be discovered within two leagues 
of the shore of the British colonies in America, and take from 
thence and seize, as forfeited, any goods (except salt, wines, 
horses, victuals, and linen cloth, as therein particularly men- 
tioned), for which the master shall not produce a docquet or 
clearance from the collector or proper officer of his Majesty's 
customs, certifying that the said goods were laden on board the 
said ship or vessel in some port of Great Britain : and whereas, 
by another Act of Parliament, made in the seventh year of the 
reign of King George the First, (intituled, an Act for the further 
preventing his Majesty's subjects from trading to the East Indies 
under foreign commissions ; and for encouraging and further 
securing the lawful trade thereto ; and for further regulating 
the pilots of Dover, Deal, and the Isle of Thanet), it is amongst 
other things enacted, that no commodity of the growth, product, 
or manufacture of the East Indies, and other places beyond the 
Cape of Good Hope, shall be imported or carried into any land, 
island, plantation, colony, territory, or place, to his Majesty or 
the Crown of Great Britain, belonging or which should here- 
after belong to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, in Africa 



or America, but such only as shall be bona fide, and without 
fraud, laden and shipped in Great Britain, in ships navigated 
according to law : and whereas, it is expedient to allow the 
trade between Ireland and the British Colonies in America and 
the West Indies, and the British settlements on the coast of 
Africa, to be carried on in like manner, and with equal advan- 
tages to his Majesty's subjects in Ireland, as it is now carried on 
between Great Britain and the said colonies and settlements ; 
may it therefore please your Majesty, that it may be enacted, 
and be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Lords, Spiritual and Tempo- 
ral, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and 
by the authority of the same, that any goods, wares, or mer- 
chandize, of the growth, product, or manufacture of the British 
Colonies or plantations in America, or the West Indies, or of 
any of the settlements belonging to Great Britain on the coast 
of Africa, and which by any Act or Acts of Parliament, are re- 
quired to be imported from such colonies, plantations, or settle- 
ments, into Great Britain ; and also any other goods, which 
having been in any way legally imported into the said colonies, 
plantations, or settlements, may now or hereafter be legally ex- 
ported from thence for Great Britain, shall and may be laden 
in, and exported from such colonies, plantations, or settlements, 
respectively, and in like manner imported directly from thence 
into the kingdom of Ireland ; and that any goods or commodi- 
ties of the growth, production, or manufacture of Ireland, or of 
the growth, production, or manufacture of Great Britain, legally 
exported from thence into Ireland, or of the growth, production, 
or manufacture of any other part of Europe; and any goods or 
commodities of the growth, product, or manufacture of the East 
Indies, or other places beyond the Cape of Good Hope, which 
are now required by any Act of Parliament to be shipped or 
laden in Great Britain, to be carried directly from thence to any 
British Colony or plantation in Africa or America ; as also any 
other goods, wares, or merchandize, which now or hereafter may 
be legally shipped or laden in Great Britain, to be carried di- 
rectly from thence, and imported into any colony or plantation 



in America or the West Indies, or into any British settlement on 
the coast of Africa ; shall and may be shipped and laden at any 
port or place in the kingdom of Ireland, and exported directly 
from thence, and in like manner imported into any British Colo- 
ny or plantation in America or the West Indies, or into any 
British settlement on the coast of Africa; anything in the said 
herein before recited Acts, or either of them, or any other Act 
or Acts of Parliament made in Great Britain, or any usage or 
custom, to the contrary notwithstanding ; subject nevertheless 
to the conditions herein after expressed. 

Provided always, and it is hereby further enacted by the 
authority aforesaid, that the importation and exportation allow- 
ed by this Act shall commence from and as soon, and shall have 
continuance so long, and in such respective cases only, as the 
goods, or any of them, which are hereby allowed to be imported 
from the said colonies, plantations, or settlements, into Ireland, 
or to be exported from Ireland into the said colonies, planta- 
tions, or settlements, shall be liable, by some Act or Acts of 
Parliament to be made in the kingdom of Ireland, to equal 
duties and drawbacks, and shall be made subject to the same 
securities, regulations, and restrictions, in all other respects, as 
the like goods now are, or hereafter may be, liable and subject 
to upon being imported from the said colonies, plantations, or 
settlements, into Great Britain, or exported from thence to such 
colonies, plantations, or settlements respectively ; in the con- 
sideration of which equal duties and drawbacks, due attention 
may be given to, and allowance made for any duty or imposi- 
tion, or any part of the same, which shall be retained in Great 
Britain, or not drawn back, or not compensated by bounty in 
Great Britain, upon the export of any such goods, wares, or 
merchandize, from thence to Ireland, as also for any duty paid 
on importation of such goods, wares, or merchandize respec- 
tively, be not exported from Ireland with less incumbrance of 
duties or impositions than now do, or hereafter shall, remain 
upon the like goods when legally exported from Great Britain, 

And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that, during the continuance of this Act, so much of the herein- 



before recited Act, made in the twenty-second and twenty-third 
years of the reign of King Charles the Second, as directs or 
requires the word Ireland to be left out of any bond taken for 
any ship or vessel that shall load any enumerated commodities 
in any British plantation in America, Asia, or Africa, shall be, 
and the same is hereby repealed and made void ; any thing in 
the said recited Act, or any other Act or Acts of Parliament to 
the contrary notwithstanding. 

And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
so much of the Act of the fourth year of his present Majesty's 
reign, as herein-before mentioned, shall not extend, or be con- 
strued to extend, to subject to seizure and forfeiture, any goods, 
wares, or merchandize, which by this Act, or by any other Act 
or Acts of Parliament, may now, or hereafter, be legally im- 
ported from Ireland into any of the British colonies or plan- 
tations in America, or any British settlement on the coast of 
Africa ; provided the master, or other person taking the charge 
of the ship or vessel carrying such goods, shall produce a 
docquet or docquets, clearance or clearances, from the proper 
officer or officers of his Majesty's customs, certifying that the 
said goods were laden on board the said ship or vessel in some 
port of Great Britain, or of some port of Ireland res- 

Provided also, and it is hereby further enacted by the 
authority aforesaid, that if it shall so happen that any additional 
duty shall be imposed, or any alteration shall be made in the 
drawbacks, or otherwise, upon any goods so as aforesaid 
imported into, or exported from Great Britain, by any 
Act of Parliament that may hereafter be made in this kingdom 
at any time when the Parliament of Ireland shall not be sitting ; 
that then and in such case the liberty of importation and expor- 
tation, granted by this act, shall have continuance, and remain 
in full force, with respect to such goods, until the end of four 
calendar months after the meeting of the then next session of 
Parliament in Ireland ; but if the Parliament of Ireland shall 
be sitting at the time that any such additional duty shall be im- 
posed, or any such alteration shall be made in Great Britain, 



then, and in such case, the liberty of importation and exporta- 
tion granted by this Act shall have continuance, and remain in 
full force, upon such goods as aforesaid, until the end of four 
calendar months from the time that such additional duty shall 
be laid, or such alteration made, in case the Parliament of Ire- 
land shall so long continue to sit without prorogation or disso- 
lution ; and in case it shall within that time be prorogued or 
dissolved, then the liberty of importation and exportation afore- 
said shall have continuance, and remain in full force, until the 
end of four calendar months next after the meeting of the then 
next session of Parliament in Ireland. 

Provided always, and be it declared and enacted by the 
authority aforesaid, that nothing hereinbefore contained shall 
extend to, or be construed to extend to, the imposing any con- 
dition or restriction upon us in respect of any goods, wares, or 
merchandize, which by an Act passed in the eighteenth year of 
His present Majesty's reign, intituled, " An act to permit the 
exportation of certain goods directly from Ireland into any Bri- 
tish plantation in America, or any British settlement on the 
coast of Africa ; and for further encouraging the fisheries and 
navigation of Ireland ; or which by any other act or acts of Par- 
liament may now be legally exported from Ireland to any of the 
British colonies or plantations in America and the West Indies, 
or to the British settlements on the coast of Africa, or which 
may now be legally imported into Ireland from any of the colo- 
nies, plantations, or settlements aforesaid ; anything herein- 
before contained to the contrary notwithstanding." 

Provided also, and it is hereby further enacted by the autho- 
rity aforesaid, that this act shall not extend, or be construed to 
extend, to allow any person or persons to trade to, from, or in, 
any colony or plantation in America, during such time, and in 
such manner, as the trade or intercourse of Great Britain with 
such colony or plantation is or shall be prohibited or restrained 
by any act or acts of Parliament made or hereafter to be made 
in this kingdom ; but whenever trade and intercourse shall be 
permitted between Great Britain and such colony or colonies, 
the same trade and intercourse shall in like manner be permitted 
and allowed between Ireland and the said colony or colonies. 






Marquess Buckingham. 

Arch-Mitre .... Abp. of Cashel. 
First Gutter. . . . Mr. Isaac Corry. 
Second Gutter. .Counsellor Day. 
Ld. Double Gutter. . Lord Wells. 
First Runner . .Major Hobart 
Second Runner . .Hon. T. Pakenham. 

First Serjeant .. Fitzgerald. 

Second Serjeant Toler. 

Speaker John Foster. 

Trimmer Mr. G. Sandford. 

First Hireling.. Mr. Haves. 

Second Hireling . .Mr. S. Moore of 

the Bain. 
Third Hireling . . Lord Delvin. 
Fourth Hireling . . Fit. Hon. Mr. Beres- 

Fifth Hireling . . Lord Jocelyn. 

1st Ld. in Waiting . .Fit. Hon. Mr. 


2nd Ld. in Waiting . . Sir N. Lawless. 

f Sir James Brown, 

at j J Mr. Longford, 
Expectant Lords^ m A i e ; ander , 

l^Mr. Harman, &c. 

Hibemia, Robins, Masques, Sfc. 


Scene I. — Two Courtiers in expectation. 
First Courtier. 
* Hope ! the courtier's first desire, — 

Airy promiser of place ! 
Dreams of future wealth inspire, 
Softest soother of disgrace ! 

Second Courtier. 

Places, Marquess ! promise still, 
Grant reversions for the rest ; 

With thy bribes our pockets fill, 
And with titles make us blest ! 

* Said to be written by Sir Robert Langrishe. 



Scene II. — A great number of secretaries and clerks without 
pay, computing. — The Marquess reading a letter, 

(To be sung or stuttered.) 

Pi-Pi-Pitt, say no more, 

Sure you told me before, 

I know the full length of my tether — 


Not a man in the house 
That I value a louse, — 
I can bribe them and bilk them together — 


I think a few lies 
Will always suffice 
To get them, if Grattan don't mar it — 

Ma-mar it ; 

But as for the pelf, 
I so love it myself, 
To their beef I'll not give them a carrot — 

Ca- carrot. 

Scene changes to the House of Commons corridor— Runners 
and Robins. 

First Runner.* 

Though I had been by birth decreed 

Too noble for a hack ; 
Yet Buckingham's f vile nets I spread 

To lure the Robins back. 
What joy, what triumph should I gain, 

If you with us would vote ! 
Still are my bribes and threats in vain ! — 

Sweet Robin ! change your note ! 

First Robin in reply. 

Do you think I inherit 
So slavish a spirit, 

* Major Hobart. t Lord-lieutenant of Ireland at the period of the Regency- 



As e'er to submit to this log: ? 

Now fondled — now chid — 

Permitted — forbid — 
I'll surely kick out the proud dog ! 

Away, then, poor Hobart ! 

There's nought in your cupboard 
Can make me from honour depart ; 

I despise such as thee, 

And hope soon to see 
Your master and you in the cart. 

Second Robin. 
* Cease, Hobart, f disingenuous youth ! 

Thy pride in being a hack ; 
Thy glory in corrupting truth, 

Or winning wretches back ! 

Leave Todd, or Lees, or Cooket the cares, 

Buck's poison to instil ; 
For, though thy soul's as mean as theirs, 

Thou hast not yet their skill. 

Young I am, and sore afraid, — 
Would you hurt a harmless lad ? 
Lead an innocent astray ? — 
Tempt me not, kind Runner, pray! 

Buckingham should I believe, 
And, as usual, he deceive ; 
If I change, and he forsake, 
Sure my tender heart would break. 

Second Runner. || 
Zounds ! neighbour, ne'er stand for a trifle like this ! 
Try the Marquess this time, and Armagh you can't miss. 

* Said to be written by Sir Robert Langrishe. t Chief secretary in Ireland. 

X Appointed Under-Secretary at war. 

§ Agar, Archbishop of Cashel (afterwards Dublin.) 

j| Hon. Thomas Pakenham. 



The gravest old canter, a truce with grimace, 

Would do the same thing; could he get the same place. 

No age, no profession, no station is free; 
To corruption, old Pery himself bends the knee. 
That power, resistless, no strength can oppose ; 
We all take a pretty bribe, under the rose. 

Second Gutter, Solo. 

Still in hopes to get the better 

Of round robin's chain I try — 
Under it this moment shelter, 

And the next my oath deny. 

Now prepared to scorn each offer, 
Sep'rate terms, and pardon brave ; 

Then, relapsing, catch the proffer, 
And confess myself a slave. 

Two Serjeants, a Duett. 
{Tune— 11 The Traveller Benighted.") 
First Serjeant.* 
Dear Serjeant, though benighted, 

And lost in black despair, 
Now that the post's alighted, 
Let us our side declare. 

Second Serjeant.! 
How lucky, we absconded 

Before the news was known ; 
We might perhaps be bonded 

To serve a barren throne. 

First Serjeant. 
But since the King is better, 

The Prince must now decline : 
(I saw Kilwarlin's letter) 

No Regent he of mine. 

* Fitzgerald, created prime sergeant. t Toler (afterwards Lord Norbury.) 



Second Serjeant. 
As ev 'ry packet brings 

(Heav'n save him, for our sake !) 
Health of the best of kings, 

Wolfe, you, and I will speak. 

Scene changes to the House of Commons. — Hibernia enthroned 

sings — 

My King's my own, my will is free, 

And so shall be my voice ; 
No regent e'er shall reign o'er me 

Till first he's made my choice. 

Let Fitz* assert that England's laws 

Our Regent must obey ; 
Grattan has still a saving clause 

Against tyrannic sway. 

Speaker. f 

Believe me, dear Larry, 

To rail thus at Harry J 
Will sound at the Castle most rare ; 

Be stout in reply, 

And give him the lie, 
You're sure to be back'd by the chair. 

How happy the blow 

That should lay Grattan low, 
Our party to put out of pain ! 

Then my jobs I'll pursue, 

Get a pension for you, 
And Flood bring amongst us again. 

But, Larry, take care, 
Lest I forfeit my chair 
If too warmly your cause I espouse ; 
For, should the King die, 
Or a viceroy look shy, 
Scarce a friend shall I find in the House. 
* Fitzgibbon, attorney-general. t Rt. Hon. John Foster. 

+ Henry Grattan. 



First Gutter.' 

Gentle Prince ! ah, tell me why 
Thus you scorn, and bid me fly ! 
Via the friend will persevere, 
Yet to Bucks I lend an ear, 
Serve him for my private end, 
And take a place from foe or friend. 

Third Robin. 

There was a mulish Marquess once 

Lived in the castle yard, 
He jobb'd and scraped, from morn till night. 

No scriv'ner work'd so hard ; 
Yet this the burden of his song 

For ever now must be, — 
" I care for nobody, no, not I, 

For nobody cares for me V* 

Full Chorus of Lords and Commons. 

Pitt ne'er was so out, such a Viceroy to fix on — 

Zounds ! Bucks, don't provoke us, but mind what we say ! 
You've chose a wrong nation for playing your tricks on, 
So, pack up your alls, and be trudging away. 
You'd better be quiet, 
And not breed a riot, 
Nor keep us here censuring you ev'ry day. 
We've got other matters to mind,— 
The Money Bills yet are to pass ; 
For if you stay longer, you'll find 

We'll make you sneak off like an ass. 


Scene I. — Presence Chamber at the Castle. 
Marquess solus. 
Let the good and the great, 
Make the most of their fate, 
* Isaac Corry, appointed one of the Commissioners of Revenue. 



From places to principle hurry : 

Well, who cares a jot ? 

I value them not, 
Whilst I have whole Cooke and half Corry. 

For counsel I'll fly 

From Fitzgibbon too high, 
To Th-r-t-n, Hobart, and Cooke ; 

But to soften my cares 

And forget state affairs, 
I'll laugh with Brown,* Lawlessf and Luke.} 

Second Runner.^ 

Since Leinster's deserted no further I'll seek, 
But go off to Wales in the packet next week ; 
A service in London will soften disgrace, 
And a seat at the Admiralty not a bad place. 

Lord Townshend went there, he soon met with a friend— 
And Woolwich repair'd the disgrace of Rings-end ; 
Then why should I stay, and rash counsel pursue, 
To injure myself, and my friends to undo ? 

Scene II. — The Castle staircase. 

Trimmer, singing. 

Since the King 's quite recover'd, and grown a sound man, 
Pray, why shouldn't I get a sop in my pan ? 
Tom Packenham, or Hobart can get me a place, 
Oh ! how fine, set in gold, looks his Majesty's face. 

Bally no mona ohro. 

They found out Tom Nesbit, and settled his mind ; 

Though at first he seem'd wavering, they soon make him kind ; 

Then why should not I the same trimming pursue, 

And better my fortune as other rats do ? 

Bally no mona ohro. 

* Afterwards Lord Kilmaiiie. t Afterwards Lord Cloncurry. 

: Afterwards Lord jUontjoy. § Hon. T. Pakenham. 



Folding doors open and discover the Levee Room, with Hacks, 
Trimmers, Runners, fyc, who advance singing this chorus. 

Ye runners and ratcatchers, hither repair, 
What votes you may want, you will find at our fair ; 
Here trimmers of all sorts of conscience there be, 
And as for our wages, we'll try to agree. 

First Hireling.* 
I pray ye gentles list to me, 
Though I a patriot seem to be, 
I will turn tail with any he, 

For work that's in the country. 
My promises to Tighe I'll break, 
I'll customs, stamps, or barracks take, 
And more can do than here I'll speak, 

Depending on your bounty. 

Second Hireling. f 
'Tis I am the lad, with a true courtier's heart, 
Who will stick to my friends, 'till their doom'd to the cart ; 
To the gallows I'll drive them, if we can agree, 
And I think their old clothes will look pretty on me. 

See them bobbing, 

Gee ho, Dobbin, 

Gee ho, Dobbin, gee ho, gee ho ! 

Third Hireling.! 
I am a blade who knows the trade, 

Of corridore and entry — 
And though I am fat, I'll catch a rat, 

Well as the worst of gentry. 

A runner would you have, 
I can flatter and deceive ; 

Command my little all, sir — 
No deed so low and mean, 
Little Delvin will disdain, 

Although his parts are small, sir. 

* Samuel Hayes, appointed a Commissioner of Stamps, 
t Mr. Stephen Moore, appointed Treasurer to the Post Office, vice L. 
Morris, Esq. dismissed. $ Lord Delvin (Westmeath). 


Fourth Hireling.* 
flf you want a staunch back, my hand you must cross, 
For a tax or job, I am ne'er at a loss, 
And all my tall sons, as a Tilly I'll toss, 

To drain out the purse of old Ireland, 
The purse of old Ireland to drain. 

Make my brother Duke Munster, with Shannon's reply, 
Second counsel continue to Marcus my boy — 
Let my guagers all vote, and no man will enjoy, 

As I shall to humble old Ireland, 
To humble old Ireland as I. 

Though F-st-r in public expense stands alone, 
Blasts the national credit, as well as his own, 
Let my custom-house vouch for my skill when I'm gone, 
In wasting the wealth of old Ireland, 
The wealth of old Ireland to waste. 

First Lord in waiting 4 
§ Don't my peerage now delay, 

Doubtful news each packet brings : 
Bucks, he may be drove away — 
Madness seize the best of King's. 

Second Lord in waiting. || 
(Tune,— " Behind the Bush.") 
Nor place, nor pension, is my plan, 

Large sums I can afford, sir ; 
But, as I'm not a gentleman, 
I fain would be a Lord, sir. 

Nor place, &c. (da capo.) 

Chorus of seven expectant Lords, 
(Tune,—" Doctor Mack.") 
Lord Double Gutter siiigs.V 
Upon which side soe'er they vote, they make on't such a pother, 
I'm now for this, and now for that, and then for both together ; 
* Rt. Hon. John Beresford. t Said to be written by Lady Langrishe. 

t Lord Luke Gardner Montjoy. § Said to be written by Miss Grattan. 
|| Sir Nicholas Lawless (Lord Cloncurry.) f Lord Wells. 



My proxy to one side I give, on t'other vote myself, sir — 
Let me alone, I believe you'll own I am a cunning elf, sir. 
My brother Mun, I rest upon, 'tis he that is the foxie, 
He trimm'd to make his pension out, for Fanny and Tom's 

But when that— that, he could not get, he slily told his Grace, 

That at the board he must afford Tom, little Bushe's* place, sir. 

Fifth Hireling .f 
When first I Grattan's party joined, 

I thought the King would die ; 
When he grew well, I chang'd my mind, 

Oh ! what a wretch am I. 

What have I gain'd by my disgrace ? 

Though I was promised so ; 
When for my friend I sought a place, 

'Twas given to my foe. 

Oh ! the fool ; the silly fool ! 

Who trusts what Viceroys say ; 
I wish I had my vote again, 

Let dad say what he may. 

Enter the Marquess, in a passion as usual. 
A plague of your trimmers, you make such a pother, 
When once you have let'n a man have your votes ; 
You've always a whining for something or other, 
And begging for pensions or places : 
What though I tnank you ne'er so fairly, 
Still you keeping teazing, teazing on : 

I cannot persuade you, 

Till promise I've made you, 

And when you have got it, 

You tell me, odd rot it ! 
Your character's blasted, you're ruin'd, undone 

And then to be sure, sir, 

There is but one cure, sir, 
To bribe you to bear your disgraces. 
* G. P. Bushe, who was turned out of office. t Mr. Hayes. 



Full chorus of all the characters of the Ball. 

(Tune,—" Patrick's Day in the Morning.") 

Here's Buckingham's health, 

Let us drink it by stealth — 
Lest it meet with a national scorning ; 

But each Irish heart, 

Lays its malice apart, 
On Patrick's day in the morning. 

'Tis true we all groan 

To get Buckingham gone, 
Of his rancour and rage we've had warning ; 

His foes could he beat, 

His friends he would cheat, 
Ev'n on Patrick's day in the morning. 

But now with one voice, 

For our King let's rejoice, 
Low men, and low politics scorning; 

Loyal Ireland shall ring 

With " long live our good King !" 
Many Patrick's days in the morning. 



Date Due 

Ann -A 



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